South Carolina Injury Attorneys
Forced Arbitration Clauses Are Hindering Justice for Victims of Workplace Sexual Harassment

Forced Arbitration Clauses Are Hindering Justice for Victims of Workplace Sexual Harassment

Forced arbitration clauses are quickly becoming popular. It is estimated that about 55% of employment contracts in the U.S. include forced arbitration clauses. With the rise of sexual harassment complaints against corporate executives and others, companies are including these clauses in their employment contracts as a way to protect themselves from public disgrace and the legal ramifications of sexual harassment complaints.

What Is the Difference Between Arbitration & Litigation?

While both use a similar courtroom setting and process to reach a conclusion, there are two main differences between arbitration and litigation. The first is that in arbitration, the judge, known as an arbiter, is chosen by the disputing parties. In regular litigation, the judge is selected randomly to handle each case by the court. In arbitration, the company usually ends up choosing an arbiter, which puts the victim at a disadvantage.

The second main difference between arbitration and litigation is that arbitration is strictly confidential, while litigation is public. This means all parties involved in the arbitration case may not disclose any information about the trial to the public. For victims of workplace sexual harassment, this means they will be unable to tell anyone about their suffering. It will be like the harassment did not even take place.

How Forced Arbitration Clauses Are Preventing Justice

Forced arbitration clauses essentially cause all complaints of workplace sexual harassment to proceed through arbitration, without the possibility of public litigation. This means, if you were sexually harassed at work, or were fired or demoted for refusing sexual advances from an employer, you will be unable to have your case heard in neutral court. Instead, you will be forced to file a complaint in arbitration, which puts the odds against your favor.

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), anywhere from 25-85% of female employees suffer from sexual harassment at their workplace. The number varies so drastically because many cases of sexual harassment are never reported. Forced arbitration clauses in employment contracts are aimed at silencing the victims and protecting the abusers, thereby hindering justice.

Some companies are taking action to fight this rising trend. For example, Microsoft has announced that it will eliminate forced arbitration clauses from its employment contracts. However, many corporations want to protect their image in the public eye, even at the expense of those who have suffered sexual harassment or abuse. Future legislation will be necessary to halt the trend of forced arbitration clauses as they relate to sexual harassment complaints across the nation. In the meantime, victims are left to seek a remedy through arbitration.

Our Firm Cares About the Rights of Sexual Abuse Victims. Call Us Today at (864) 408-8890.

Since 1975, Christian & Christian has represented injured clients. We are passionate about holding individuals and companies responsible for negligent or intentional actions. If you have suffered an injury at work, or you have been a victim of sexual abuse or harassment, we can help you file a claim to pursue justice from those responsible. Our Greenville personal injury attorneys have 95 years of collective legal experience, and will advocate for you throughout the process.

Contact our team today for a free, confidential consultation.


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