Hawley, legislative Republicans split on private handling of employment disputes

Measures that would keep complaints against large employers private have gained favor among Missouri lawmakers, but the state’s top law enforcement officer has signaled his discontent, at least in certain cases.

Legislation that has progressed in the Missouri House and Senate would give arbitrators authority to decide whether an arbitration agreement between an employer and an employee is enforceable.

But Josh Hawley, Missouri’s attorney general and a Republican, along with every other state’s attorney general, signed a letter this week asking Congress to outlaw arbitration in the case of sexual harassment.

Studies have shown that employers win more often than employees during arbitration, which is a private system of justice with no appeal process.

During debate on the proposed legislation, which is pending before the House and Senate, bill sponsors denied allegations that arbitration agreements protect sexual harassers.

It was unclear Wednesday if Hawley supported a blanket ban on arbitration or just in the instance of sexual harassment claims.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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