WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — United States lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say workers should not be forced to stay quiet about bad behavior.
“End the days of institutional protections for harassers,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said.
On Wednesday, Gillibrand announced bipartisan legislation to end forced arbitration over cases of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
“Removing those provisions would give survivors their day in court,” Gillibrand said.
The bill eliminates contract clauses that prevent survivors from seeking justice and public accountability.
“Forced arbitration is unfair because it creates an uneven playing field,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.
Graham says employees shouldn’t have to leave their rights at the door.
“To go to work, you can’t sign away your dignity,” Graham said.
The legislation has already received bipartisan backing in both the Senate as well as the House.
“But we’ve got way too many people who have been silenced for way too long,” Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) said.
Bustos says too many Americans are under these contracts and don’t even realize it.
“We have 60 million Americans, 60 million Americans, who are living under these forced arbitration clauses,” Bustos said.
Survivor and activist Gretchen Carlson says victims need support from Congress.
“No one can be expected to do their best job at work when they have a muzzle on,” Carlson said.
Graham also called on businesses to come to the table and join the change to end these arbitrations.