Recently, Congress passed a bill targeted at ending mandatory arbitration for sexual assault or sexual harassment claims. Many businesses attempt to control the cost and exposure of a jury trial by requiring pre-dispute resolution arbitration agreements as a condition of employment. In response to arguments that such agreements can act as a "gag" or a form of silencing, Congress determined that employees who are subjected to sexual harassment and assault should have the right to pursue their claim in court. On February 10, 2022, the U.S. Senate passed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021
(H.R. 4445). Just days before that, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the same measure with bipartisan support. President Biden is expected to sign this bill into law. The legislation will take effect immediately and applies to all existing arbitration agreements, even those signed prior to the bill’s enactment.