Lawmakers Pushing to End Forced Arbitration Policies
If you have signed an employment contract with a large corporation any time over the past decade, the chances are good that you have agreed (knowingly or not) to a policy commonly referred to as ‘arbitration’. Simply put, arbitration is the act of pursuing an otherwise legitimate civil claim outside of the traditional court system, typically via mediation and negotiation with the company itself. When an employee signs an arbitration clause within a contract, they are effectively dissolving their right to file a lawsuit against their employer, even in situation where the alleged transaction is quite severe. This could include, among other things, acts of discrimination, harassment and various civil rights violations.
You will be forgiven if you if this concept is somewhat new to you. In fact, a large number of individuals who have agreed to arbitration clauses within their employment contract aren’t too aware of what they have agreed to! This is primarily due to the fact that the implications of arbitration aren’t often discussed at length during the process of on-boarding a new employee. Most employees won’t even realize that arbitration isn’t even in effect.
While this doesn’t mean to imply that there are a host of unethical businesses out there taking advantage of their employees, the point does exist that arbitration fundamentally restricts the type of opportunities available to employees to seek compensation for alleged damages.
US Lawmakers Confront Arbitration
The Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeat Act, passed by a bipartisan House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, is designed to ensure that individuals have the ability to “fight back” against employers who they believe are mistreating them.
If the final iteration of the FAIR Act is successfully passed by the federal government, businesses would no longer have the agency or resources to force employees to sign a force arbitration clause. Although some employees may simply shrug their shoulders and say “Does it really matter?”, the implications of these policies are extremely significant.
In the event of a dispute, an employee still has the option to choose arbitration over a legal suit if they so choose. However, the fact that the choice now exists to pursue legal alternatives to arbitration means that a new era of transparency and accountability is likely to arrive in the very near future.
After all, lawsuits are about far more than just financial compensation. As part of the legal process, a variety of information can be disclosed which can provide the general public with a vast degree of insight into how a company treats both consumers and employees alike.
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Our firm has been handling consumer rights cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been want to discuss legal options, contact us today at (760) 536-8017 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, El Centro, and Yucca Valley, and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.
DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.