Ban on forced arbitration in sexual harassment claims fails
BATON ROUGE (AP) - Louisiana lawmakers have jettisoned legislation to ban employers from requiring their workers to sign contracts that keep them from filing sexual harassment lawsuits in civil court.
The House voted 50-42 against the proposal Monday. It needed 53 votes to pass.
Supporters of the measure by Rep. Robert Johnson, a Marksville Democrat, said contracts that force sexual harassment victims to pursue claims in closed-door arbitration proceedings give too much protection to perpetrators.
Johnson says it discourages people from coming forward to report inappropriate conduct.
Opponents say the proposal had good intentions, but would improperly intrude into decisions made by private businesses. They touted arbitration as costing less and offering privacy to victims.
Gov. John Bel Edwards backed the bill in a package of anti-sexual harassment measures.
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