East Room

5:42 P.M. EST
 
THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon everyone.  Good afternoon.  Please have a seat.  Good afternoon.  (Applause.) 
 
President Joe Biden, members of Congress, and my fellow Americans: Today, we are gathered to celebrate the passage of a law that will make our nation’s workplaces more safe and more just.
 
Forced arbitration silences survivors of sexual assault and harassment.  It shields predators instead of holding them accountable and gives corporations a powerful tool to hide abuse and misconduct.  And it compels the people of our nation — and most often the women of our nation — to sign away one of their most fundamental rights: the right to seek justice in court.
 
The legislation the President will sign today will end forced arbitration in all cases of sexual abuse.  (Applause.)  And — and almost equally as important, it will apply retroactively — (applause) — invalidating every one of these agreements, no matter when they were entered into.
And as many of you know, it has been a long road to get to today.  
 
I co-sponsored this legislation five years ago when I was a senator.  And we would not have reached this very moment were it not for a bipartisan group of legislators, many of whom are here today.
 
These leaders — they saw clearly: This is not a partisan issue.  This is not about Republicans or Democrats.  This is about right and wrong.
 
As I think about the future, our administration will work with Congress on broader forced arbitration legislation to — (applause).  And we will do that to also protect the rights of workers in cases of wage theft, racial discrimination, and unfair labor practices.  (Applause.) 
 
So, I will conclude today by thanking all of the people who are here — and all that your represent to make this day possible — and, in particular, all the survivors and their allies who spoke out and demanded change.  (Applause.)  Thank you for your courage and your resilience and for your leadership.  
 
And now I will now welcome to the podium a woman who was instrumental in the passage of this law: Gretchen Carlson.  (Applause.) 
 
                        END                5:45 P.M. EST
 

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