Congresswoman Nikema Williams Helps Pass Bill to Empower Survivors of Sexual Harassment and Assault

WASHINGTON — On Monday, Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) voted to pass bipartisan, bicameral legislation to empower survivors of sexual harassment and assault by ending forced arbitration. 

The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act will void forced arbitration agreements in any contract if a sexual assault or harassment claim is brought forward. For employment contracts, more than 60 million Americans would be impacted. 

By voiding forced arbitration clauses in the case of sexual assault and harassment, survivors are provided the freedom to decide what legal path works best for them – that can include bringing a claim in court, discussing their case publicly or seeking another kind of legal remedy. It will eliminate institutional protection for harassers and abusers and give survivors the chance to pursue justice. 

Congresswoman Williams said: 

“Every survivor deserves their day in court. Forced arbitration provisions keep survivors in the shadows through secret, often skewed negotiations. Meanwhile the perpetrators are free to continue, largely avoiding any consequences. Passing the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act means survivors can reclaim the power stolen from them to pursue the justice they want.”

The Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act would stop perpetrators from being able to push survivors of sexual harassment and assault into the secretive, biased process of forced arbitration. 

The bill has been endorsed by the American Association for Justice (AAJ), Public Citizen, the National Women’s Law Center, the National Partnership for Women and Families, Futures Without Violence, Jewish Women International, Lift Our Voices, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Domestic Violence Hotline, National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Women’s Law Center, Public Citizen, RAINN, RALIANCE, and Sexual Violence Prevention Association, the Malouf Foundation, the Elizabeth Smart Foundation and the House LGBTQ Equality Caucus.

CONTACT: PressGA05@mail.house.gov

Congresswoman Nikema Williams proudly serves Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District. Congresswoman Williams serves on the exclusive Financial Services Committee where she is Vice Chair of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and the Select Committee for the Modernization of Congress. She is Freshman Class President and Co-Chairs the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus. Congresswoman Williams builds on the Fifth District’s legacy as the cradle of the civil rights movement as a champion of voting rights, closing the racial wealth gap, and ensuring the promise of America for all–regardless of their ZIP code or bank account.

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