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Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Senate Passage Of Bipartisan Legislation To End Forced Arbitration For Sexual Harassment And Sexual Assault

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor as the Senate approved legislation to end forced arbitration for sexual harassment and sexual assault. The bill was approved by voice vote. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

Let me compliment my colleague from New York [Sen. Gillibrand]. Her persistence, her intelligence, her determination and passion to change the law so these injustices, which occur so many times that we don't know about, will no longer be there, is so vital. So, thank you for a job well done. Thanks to my colleague Senator Graham, the lead Republican sponsor, who when he gets behind something it gets done. So, I want him behind more things with us in the future. And to Senator Ernst, who is not here, she's been a great leader on this as well. When we met in my office, Senator Graham, Senator Ernst, she was very amenable to getting this done.

It is an outrage, just an outrage, that women and men who are abused cannot seek justice, are forced to be quiet, are forced to keep the agony inside themselves. It's outrageous.

For decades, this forced arbitration has deprived millions of people—almost all women—from basic rights to justice. And we need justice in so many areas. But when you can't seek justice when you are harassed, it is just one of the greatest marks of injustice.

And the good news about this legislation is all the clauses that people already signed in their employment contracts, even when they didn't know about it, will no longer be valid. So it not only affects the future, but affects those who signed in the past.

If you could ever say that any legislation is long overdue, this is it.

It’s time for a change.

And moments from now, the Senate will act to finally make forced arbitration for sexual harassment and assault a thing of the past.

We are now going to voice vote this wonderful, needed legislation.