Attacks on Mandatory (Forced) Arbitration
Mandatory (Forced) Arbitration is coming under renewed attacks because more and more people are becoming aware that businesses and corporations are rigging the justice system against consumers. Among the many complaints are that businesses use Mandatory Arbitration to remove the legal rights of customers – there is no judge, no jury, no appeal, and no requirement to explain the final decision. In addition, critics point out that Mandatory Arbitration is also used by corporations and businesses to silence wrongdoing and avoid accountability.
Greatest Harm To The Largest Number Of Americans
According to Kriston Capps, who wrote a new article on the CityLab.com website, “Of all the hidden legal craft tucked into the fine print today, forced arbitration agreements may do the greatest harm to the largest number of Americans. These binding clauses, buried deep in the arcana of terms-of-service documents and employment contracts, lock millions of workers and consumers out of the courtroom.”
Read some of the terms of Mandatory (Forced) Arbitration agreements of the most well known corporations in the USA by clicking the following link.
Critics of arbitration clauses in employment contracts say they have been widely abused. They say the fine print buried deep within these contracts is a tool that is used to keep disputes, including charges of sexual harassment, away from the light of public view.
Who Is Changing Mandatory Arbitration Clauses
Less than a year ago Microsoft made a major statement on the subject. Bloomberg News reported a major policy change regarding Forced / Mandatory Arbitration, “. . . in December 2017, Microsoft announced that it was waiving the requirement in its employment contracts for the arbitration of sexual harassment claims.”
Other major corporations are also following Microsoft’s example. The New York Times reported that Facebook also made a major change to their Mandatory Arbitration policy. “Facebook said on Friday that it would no longer force employees to settle sexual harassment claims in private arbitration, making it the latest technology company to do away with a practice that critics say has stacked the deck against victims of harassment.” In the same article the authors noted that both Google and Uber changed their arbitration policies within the last year.
Other rays of hope have blossomed in some of the state legislatures. California and Massachusettes have attempted to pass legislation that would return legal rights to consumers. Some members of Congress have attempted to do the same. Unfortunately, federal law is well entrenched and it will take an act of Congress to level the legal arena for consumers.