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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
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February 12, 2018

MADIGAN URGES CONGRESS TO PROTECT AMERICAN EMPLOYEES FROM SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Coalition Calls on Congress to End Secret Arbitration for Sexual Harassment Claims

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today joined a coalition of 56 states and territories to urge Congress to protect American employees and put a stop to secret, forced arbitration in cases of workplace sexual harassment.

Madigan and the coalition sent a letter today to Congressional leaders urging them to pass strong legislation to ensure sexual harassment victims have a right to be heard in court. Many employers require employees to sign employment contracts containing arbitration agreements mandating that sexual harassment claims be resolved through private arbitration instead of the judicial process. The secrecy surrounding these proceedings protects serial violators and provides inadequate relief to victims.

"Too many victims of sexual harassment feel their voice will not be heard if they come forward," Madigan said. "We must change our law so anyone who experiences sexual harassment at work is protected and supported."

The letter states, in part:

"Congress today has both opportunity and cause to champion the rights of victims of sexual harassment in the workplace by enacting legislation to free them from the injustice of forced arbitration and secrecy when it comes to seeking redress from egregious misconduct condemned by all concerned Americans."

Joining Madigan in sending today's letter were attorneys general from: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

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