Lawmakers Announce New ‘FAIR Act’ Bill to End Forced Arbitration

Lawmakers Announce New ‘Fair Act’ Bill to End Forced Arbitration

Democratic lawmakers today announced a new bill aimed at ending the practice of forced arbitration in employment contracts. The Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal, or FAIR Act, seeks to end the use of mandatory arbitration clauses, which are often inserted into workers contracts to require that employees waive their right to sue their employers. With the right to sue waived, employee complaints instead can only go through a private system where employers are automatically given the upper hand in disputes. [Read more…]

Supreme Court Set to Review Mandatory Arbitration in the Employment Context

construction workers

Court will rule on cases involving workers’ rights to sue their employers in court

As reported by the Wall Street Journal the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to make rulings in three cases that involve workers’ rights to sue their employers. The fundamental question is whether employment contracts can allow employers to force workers to bargain away their rights to sue in court over employment disputes. [Read more…]

The Intercept: Will Shareholders Lose the Right to Sue Over Corporate Fraud?

Securities and financial fraud

In partnership with the Investigative Fund, The Intercept has published a powerful piece calling attention to proposed changes to the securities laws that may keep shareholders from being able to sue corporations that violate the law to shareholders’ detriment. The right to a trial may be replaced with mandatory arbitration agreements that will shunt shareholder lawsuits into private, closed-door arbitration funded by the very corporations alleged to have committed the fraud. [Read more…]

Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Should Be Banned From Insurance Policies

Mandatory Arbitration Clauses Should Be Banned From Insurance Policies

Formal amendment to the Model Unfair Trade Practices Act seeks to prohibit pre-dispute forced arbitration provisions

According to Insurance Business America, pretty much everyone except big business hates forced dispute arbitration, a diversion of adjudication from open courts to closed, one-sided panels that has been shoved down the throats of consumers across nearly every industry. “Over the last 10 to 15 years, the practice of requiring individuals to agree to arbitrate rather than litigate any future disputes (or forgo the product, service or employment altogether) has been heavily criticized by government agencies, the media, academics and consumer groups.” [Read more…]

Wells Fargo Scandal Drives California to Block Mandatory Arbitration Clauses in Banking Contracts

data breach credit cards consumer fraud

In direct response to Wells Fargo’s vast false accounts fraud scheme affecting millions of bank customers, the California legislature has passed a bill “aimed at stopping banks from using arbitration clauses to shield themselves from lawsuits over sham accounts,” as reported by the Los Angeles Times. The California Assembly passed Senate Bill 33 earlier this week, and the California Senate quickly approved. The Bill’s fate now rests with Governor Brown. [Read more…]

Consumers Overwhelmingly Want Access to Legal System Currently Denied by Major Banks

Bank Misconduct

A 2016 study by The Pew Charitable Trusts notes that consumer disputes with banks over fees and policies are on the rise. Of particular concern are mandatory arbitration clauses found in 90% of bank account agreements. These forced arbitration provisions steer consumers to third-party decision-makers whose decisions are usually binding, giving the consumer limited or no opportunity to appeal. Such provisions also prohibit consumer bank customers from seeking any remedy in an impartial court of law. [Read more…]

Judge Rakoff Calls Consumer “Consent” to Online Arbitration Agreements a Legal Fiction

Scales of Justice in courtroom

In a court ruling regarding alleged Uber price-fixing, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff states in no uncertain terms that when it comes to online arbitration agreements, consumer consent is nothing more than a “legal fiction.” [Read more…]