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Attorney General Janet Mills Joins Bipartisan Coalition Urging Congress to Help Protect Employees From Sexual Harassment
February 14, 2018
AUGUSTA - Attorney General Janet Mills joined a bipartisan coalition of 56 states and territories urging Congress to end secret forced arbitration in cases of workplace sexual harassment. Too often employees are required to sign employment contracts containing arbitration agreements mandating that sexual harassment claims be resolved through private arbitration instead of through the judicial process. The secrecy surrounding these proceedings can protect serial violators and provide inadequate relief to victims.
?No employee should ever have to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace, and no victim of workplace sexual harassment should ever feel as though they do not have the right of access to our judicial system,? said Mills. ?Eliminating discontinuance of arbitration requirements in workplace sexual harassment cases will further empower victims to seek relief rather than stifle their voices.?
The Coalition letter sent Monday asks Congress to pass appropriately-tailored legislation to ensure that sexual harassment victims have a right to their day in court.
?Congress today has both opportunity and cause to champion the rights of victims of sexual harassment in the workplace by enacting legislation to free them from the injustice of forced arbitration and secrecy when it comes to seeking redress from egregious misconduct condemned by all concerned Americans,? states the letter cosponsored by Republican and Democratic attorneys general.
Attorneys general from the states, D.C. and five U.S. territories joined the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
A copy of the letter is attached.