U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina is signing on to a bill that will give victims of sexual harassment more power in the workplace.
Graham joined with a group of Democratic and Republican lawmakers to introduce the bill Wednesday in Washington.
The bill would invalidate companies’ forced arbitration proceedings in cases of sexual harassment claims.
Arbitration keeps settlements secret and prevents claims from going to court. The bill’s sponsors say such proceedings keep victims from getting the justice they deserve.
“This is an open invitation to the business community to get behind this bill,” Graham said Wednesday. “If nothing else, a lot of women will want to do business with that company” that supports the bill.
Graham is co-sponsoring the bill along with Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Four Democratic and Republican U.S. representatives also are sponsoring the bill.
On Wednesday, the lawmakers were joined by Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News anchor whose sexual harassment claims against that network’s former chief executive Roger Ailes led to his firing.
“Forced arbitration is a harasser’s best friend,” said Carlson.
The bill was introduced shortly after Gillibrand joined several other Democratic women in the Senate in calling for colleague U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., to resign after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct in recent weeks.
The announcement also came the same day Time magazine named women speaking out against sexual harassment and assault as the magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year.