Breaking News
More () »

'This is a simple matter of justice' | Ossoff pushing bill giving sexual assault and harassment survivors a chance in court

Bill S.2342 will give sexual assault and harassment survivors freedom on how to dispute their case.

ATLANTA — Sen. Jon Ossoff is pushing to get a full vote in the Senate over a bill that would give survivors of sexual assault and harassment a choice on whether to bring their case to court or not.

Bill S.2342, otherwise known as the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021, will stop survivors from being pushed to dispute against their abuser in a private system of arbitration 

It's a bill that would help Georgians experiencing sexual assault in their workplace not be silenced by the forced arbitration clauses they might have signed in their contracts. 

Sen. Ossoff spoke to 11Alive about the bill that he originally co-sponsored last year.

"Georgians and all Americans who survived sexual assault or are targeted with sexual harassment in the workplace deserve to be able to bring their claim to a court and seek a remedy in court," said Ossoff. 

Forced arbitration clauses are placed within contracts - they can be found in the fine print of employment, cell phone, credit card, retirement account, home building and nursing home contracts. 

When signed, people lose their right to go to court if they are harmed. 

More than 60 million Americans are subjected to forced arbitration clauses in the workplace according to Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.

 According to Ossoff, most people sign these clauses unknowingly. 

"It's very common, so many employees, perhaps without even fully recognizing it, sign away their right to a trial when they enter into a contract with their employer," said Ossoff. 

The U.S. House on Feb. 7, 2022, approved Bill H.R.4445, a bill related to S.2342. It's the bicameral version of the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault & Sexual Harassment Act of 2021. 

Bill S.2342 if passed in the Senate will be one step closer to becoming a law. 

"This legislation that I'm championing will ensure that where employees are survivors of sexual assault or victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, they get their day in court. It will invalidate those abusive provisions of these contracts that are preventing too many Americans who experience sexual assault or sexual harassment from pursuing their case in an open court," the senator said.

Ossoff chose to co-sponsor Bill S.2342 to bring justice to these survivors. 

"This is a simple matter of justice, and any American who experiences assault or harassment in the workplace should be able to bring their claim in a court of law and pursue the damages or the remedy that they're seeking without being forced into these secretive arbitration processes," said Ossoff.


Before You Leave, Check This Out