“Carrie’s Law” works to end mandatory arbitration in instances of sexual assault
Dec. 9, 2020
A bill to end mandatory arbitration in instances of sexual assault was introduced by Republican Congresswoman Debbie Lesko and a Democratic colleague.
The bill is called “Carrie’s Law,” and was inspired by Arizona resident Carrie Bobb, who was unable to have her case heard in court due to arbitration. We learned more about “Carrie’s Law” from Carrie Bobb and Congresswoman Lesko.
“Carrie came to my office in July 2019 and told me her story of how she was drugged and raped at a corporate event, and how she didn’t realize that her employment contracts had mandatory arbitration meaning she doesn’t have a choice to go to civil court on this case, and she had to keep everything quiet,” said Lesko.
Bobb is very passionate about this bill because prior to it, arbitration meant, “victims are agreeing to be silenced before anything ever happens at work when they sign their employment contract.”
The employee contracts diminished “your right to pursue justice in the court of law,” said Bobb.
Lesko was unaware this was happening in the work place and is thankful Bobb came to her.
After Bobb explained the situation, Lesko began her work on this new bill to end mandatory arbitration related to physical or sexual assault.
“I worked with Democratic Congresswoman Karen Bass, we both serve on the Judiciary Committee,” said Lesko.
At this moment the bill is still undergoing its work within the legislation.
“I’m going to have to introduce [this to] the legislation again at the beginning of the next congressional session and get this through. I also want to try to find a Senator that will co-sponsor this,” said Lesko.
Bobb said that the creation of this bill is starting change within Arizona, “companies are changing policy, companies are endorsing her work. Arizona is leading the charge on it. There’s many small businesses in Arizona that are endorsing Congresswoman Lesko…it’s really cool to see.”
The ability for a perpetrator to do this to other victims, “is just not right, and it’s atrocious and I’m going to work as hard as I can to get this signed into law,” said Lesko.