Sexual Harassment and Arbitration Clauses In the Office

Sexual Harassment and Arbitration Clauses In the Office

Gretchen Carlson is both extraordinary—in her cultural visibility, in her multimillion-dollar career, in her personal accomplishments—and utterly ordinary. When she filed a lawsuit in July alleging sexual harassment during her tenure at Fox News, she became part of a disturbing statistic: at least 25% of American women say they have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, according to a 2016 report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

She also faced an obstacle that blocks an untold lot of them: an arbitration clause in her employment contract.

There is no reliable data on how many Americans have ceded their rights to a court hearing through arbitration clauses; one academic study estimates, using projections based on narrow data sets, that as many as a quarter of non-unionized American workers may be subject to the restrictions.

Arbitration clauses are found not only in multimillion-dollar contracts like Carlson’s but also in the most mundane hiring materials—form contracts, even employee handbooks—that have been given to employees at Anheuser-Busch or Applebee’s or some editors at TIME.


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This post originally appeared here: https://time.com/4540111/arbitration-clauses-sexual-harassment/

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