Following her departure from Fox News and her sexual harassment lawsuit against former network boss Roger Ailes, Gretchen Carlson is set to link up with Democratic senators and testify before Congress about forced arbitration.
In a Time magazine profile published Friday, Carlson said that she has a passion for the subject of forced arbitration, that fine print in some employees’ contracts that disallows them from filing litigation and forces them to agree to settle all employment disputes with the company via arbitration.
“A lot of people that I’ve heard from [about being unfairly dismissed] find themselves in the middle of either legal action or, more likely, forced arbitration,” Carlson told Time. “It is a huge problem. Because it’s secret. And it plays into why we think that we’ve come so far in society and we probably really haven’t—because we don’t hear about it.”
While Carlson did not mention Fox News in relation to this cause, it’s clear she has her own situation—as well as those of other women she knows—in mind. The network initially tried to force the Carlson’s sexual harassment suit against Ailes into arbitration, but after the case caught fire in the media, the network settled with Carlson for $20 million. Fox also issued a rare apology, praising Carlson for her work and saying that she was not treated the way she should have been at the network.
Most recently, the network has attempted to force former host Andrea Tantaros’ sexual harassment case into arbitration as well.
Carlson has some unlikely allies in her new fight: Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Al Franken (D-MN), who are sponsors of the anti-forced arbitration law. Though they may have been the targets of some Fox News rage in the past, Carlson brushed off the unlikeliness of their partnership, telling Time that she and Franken are both Minnesota natives and that Franken beat her on an episode of “Jeopardy” in 2005.
She told Time that those in power need to think about how such laws affect women and about “what we need to do to change the system so that women feel safe.”