David W. Garland, a Member of the Firm and Chair of the firm’s National Labor and Employment Steering Committee, in the firm’s New York and Newark offices, was quoted in the Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report, in “Lawmakers Want Harassment Cases Made Public,” by Chris Opfer.

Following is an excerpt:

Forced arbitration agreements that critics say protect sexual harassers and silence victims would be a thing of the past under legislation from a bipartisan group of lawmakers. …

A pair of management attorneys told Bloomberg Law that there are plenty of reasons that businesses opt for arbitration instead of litigation, including cost and efficiency. Valerie Hoffman, an attorney for Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago, and David Garland, a lawyer with Epstein Becker & Green in New York, said employers can do a lot more to stop sexual harassment by strengthening their workplace policies rather than by scrapping arbitration agreements. …

Gretchen Carlson, a Fox News anchor who says she was fired for refusing former news chief Roger Ailes’ sexual advances, is also supporting the bill. Carlson got around an arbitration agreement with Fox by suing Ailes personally.

Garland represented Ailes in that litigation. He told Bloomberg Law—speaking on behalf of the firm, not any client—that the focus on arbitration agreements may have more to do with putting a spotlight on public figures accused of bad behavior than preventing more common cases of sexual harassment in the workplace.

“The way to combat sexual harassment in the workplace is to have strong policies to make sure it doesn’t happen,” Garland said. “Let’s not try to enact a solution that might satisfy our curiosity about the big names cases when the system works pretty well and allows parties to resolve claims efficiently.” 

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