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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Moving Forward With Bipartisan Legislation To End Forced Arbitration For Sexual Assault And Sexual Harassment As Soon As This Week

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the House-approved bill to end forced arbitration for sexual assault and sexual harassment. Senator Schumer also reiterated his intention to move on this bill in the Senate as quickly as this week. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

Last night, Congress took an important—and overwhelmingly bipartisan—step forward in the fight to eliminate forced arbitration for victims of sexual harassment and assault.

By a large, large margin, 335 to 97, our House colleagues approved legislation that, for the first time ever, would ensure people who face sexual harassment or assault at work have the freedom to hold employers accountable in court. It would eliminate the long-used practice of including forced arbitration clauses in employee contracts, which for so long have effectively served as a condition for employment.

I commend my House colleagues for approving forced arbitration legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support. But if you look at the vote, it’s pretty clear that a majority of both parties voted for this legislation. It is my intention to move on this bill as quickly as we can in the Senate, and we hope to take action here on the floor as soon as this week. I expect that it will be met with nothing less than broad support from both parties, enabling us to move quickly.

The legislation has been years in the works, and I want to recognize my friend Senator Gillibrand who has spearheaded the cause of ending forced arbitration on this issue for a long time. Thanks to her leadership, we are close to seeing this change become law.

I also want to recognize Senator Graham: because of his backing and his work with Senator Gillibrand, this proposal has gotten the momentum it needs to move forward.

Despite disagreements between both sides, legislation like this is a prime example of both parties finding a way to work together on legislation that will make a tangible difference in people’s lives. We want to work with our Republican colleagues on similar proposals whenever possible.

Because at the end of the day, ending forced arbitration for sexual harassment and assault is about making our workplaces safer, holding abusive employers accountable, and making sure that every American can exercise their right to justice in a court of law.

For decades, abusers have used arbitration as a shield for their horrific behavior, and employees have been put at a massive disadvantage when trying to hold wrongdoers accountable. This law will finally change all that.

I look forward to finishing the work of passing this bill through the Senate and getting it closer to the President’s desk.