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Federal Bill Would End Forced Arbitation Of Sexual Harassment Claims

Democratic U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois is flanked by Republican U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, left, and Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York at a news conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

Hoping to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, members of Congress have introduced a bill that would allow victims to take their cases to court. 

It's called the "Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Harassment Act," and one of the lead sponsors is U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, from the 17th Illinois Congressional District. 

During a news conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C., Bustos said 60 million Americans have contracts with forced-arbitration clauses, but this bill would give them the option of going to court.

"We know there are many good companies out there, and they have nothing to fear in this,” Bustos said, “but to the CEOs and managers who think that every day in the workplace ought to be like an episode of ‘Mad Men,’ we've got a message for you: Stop it, and stop it now.”

To end sexual harassment in the workplace, Bustos says legal protections for harassers have to be eliminated.

Co-sponsors of the bipartisan bill include both men and women senators and representatives.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.
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