As anticipated, President Joe Biden signed into law the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act (“the Act”) today. Effective immediately, the Act amends the Federal Arbitration Act and limits the enforceability of U.S. employers’ mandatory arbitration agreements that require all employment-related claims be arbitrated, rather than litigated. We discussed here the Act’s carve-out for claims of sexual assault or sexual harassment, meaning that employees may now pursue their sexual assault or sexual harassment claims in court, regardless of whether they signed an arbitration agreement with their employer.
The Act is largely a product of the #MeToo movement’s ongoing efforts. Although the Act addresses only claims of sexual assault or sexual harassment, we anticipate that similar legislation will be proposed that addresses workplace claims of race-related discrimination or harassment – a result of racial justice movements, such as Black Lives Matter.