In a recent letter dated July 30, 2019, several New York lawmakers criticize Ernst & Young’s apparent intention to require sexual harassment claimant Karen Ward to pursue her claims in arbitration as opposed to in court. This letter highlights and underscores the evils of forced arbitration, particularly in the sexual harassment context.
From the letter:
… While the problems with forced arbitration are clear, the facts in this case are even more troubling. Ernst & Young has insisted that Ms. Ward pay half the costs of arbitration, which have already added up to $185,000 with the case still in the discovery phase. If she had been permitted to file in court, she would have only had to pay $450 in court costs to have her case heard. It is obvious to us that requiring claimants to pay such exorbitant costs is a major obstacle to justice for victims of harassment. …
It concludes by urging the company “to reconsider its outdated approach to addressing gender inequity and show that it is committed to providing all employees with a harassment-free workplace by ensuring they have access to our justice system to address discrimination claims.”