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In Support of the FAIR Act and Ending Mandatory Employment Arbitration

The Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act would ban agreements like mandatory arbitration, and allow employees to have recourse to their employers in cases of unequal pay, harassment or discrimination.


In a trend driven by a series of Supreme Court decisions dating back to 1991, American employers have increasingly required their workers to sign mandatory arbitration agreements. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) finds that 65% of companies with more than 1,000 employees have mandatory arbitration procedures — meaning workers must settle employment disputes through a private mediation system that heavily favors employers, out of the public eye.

 

Mandatory arbitration is a controversial practice in which a business requires employees to agree to arbitrate legal disputes with the business rather than going to court. Although seemingly voluntary in that the employee can choose whether or not to sign the arbitration agreement, in practice signing the agreement is required if the individual wants to get the job.

 

EPI research has also found that women and Blacks are more commonly subject to mandatory arbitration than other workers, and that the practice is especially widespread in California, Texas, and North Carolina. Mandatory arbitration has been found to suppress employee claims, make it more difficult for employees to prevail (given that the majority of arbitrators are older White men), and when employees do prevail in arbitration, they are awarded far less in damages.


While some states have taken steps to ban mandatory arbitration provisions in employment agreements, we need a decisive federal ban on such provisions. We encourage you to push forward the re-introduced FAIR Act in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

 

Signed,

 

P.S. Does your company require employees to agree to mandatory arbitration? Drop their name in the comments below.  Knowledge is power!

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