There are over 60 million Americans including some in Arizona who are bound by arbitration agreements with their employers. This means that if they have a sexual harassment complaint, it must be brought up in an arbitration hearing instead of a courtroom. Both Fortune 500 companies and those in lower paying industries use forced arbitration clauses in their employment contracts. Such an arrangement is largely recognized as being beneficial to the employer.
This type of agreement tends to impact women and minorities as they tend to be the ones most likely to face discrimination at work. However, those who experience discrimination on the job don’t necessarily know what they have agreed to until after they are victimized. Not all companies require employees to choose arbitration as opposed to litigation if they are the victim of sexual harassment. Microsoft recently said that it would stop taking such a step
It also said that not allowing victims to speak has contributed to the problem of sexual harassment at work. By making the identities of offenders known publicly, it could prevent another company from hiring an offender and having to deal with a sexual harassment compliant themselves. It can also prevent a company from protecting those who have committed multiple offenses while employed there.
Unwanted sexual attention, lewd comments or similar actions toward an employee could be considered sexual harassment. In some cases, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against an employer and seek compensation and other remedies. Even if an individual is required to go through arbitration to resolve a sexual harassment claim, that person may still want to talk to an attorney. Doing so could help a victim learn more about his or her rights and how to preserve them as much as possible.