Arbitration Fairness Act Reintroduced Today in Congress

by Deepak Gupta

The Arbitration Fairness Act of 2013 — legislation that would ban mandatory pre-dispute binding arbitration in consumer and employment contracts — was introduced today in both houses of Congress by Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.). New to this version of the bill–an exclusion for antitrust disputes.

The House bill (H.R. 1844) has 22 original cosponsors;
the Senate bill (S. 878) has 17 original cosponsors. The legislation's proponents hope to use the
bill as a catalyst for movement on arbitration in a number of areas —
including hearings, expanded coalition building, continued
media attention, as well as supporting action at the CFPB and the SEC
and through additional future legislation.

Here's a letter of support from a broad coalition of supporters, including the AFL-CIO, American Association for Justice, American Civil Liberties Union, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, NAACP, National Association of Consumer Advocates, Public Citizen, and U.S. PIRG, among others.

Learn more: Take Justice Back, Fair Arbitration Now.

0 thoughts on “Arbitration Fairness Act Reintroduced Today in Congress

  1. Gregory Gauthier says:

    Sorry for double posting (if this ends up happening), but I was wondering what happened to my previous comment.
    Basically, as the primary author of Wikipedia’s “Consumer arbitration” article, I was wondering if Mr. Gupta had any recent (within the past two years) examples of (1) exorbitant arbitration filing fees, (2) loser-pays rules being enforced in arbitration, and (3) motion and written decision fees in arbitration. Obviously, a lot has changed in the past four years in arbitration (NAF’s demise in consumer arbitrations, Concepcion, and the new AAA fee structure for consumer arbitrations, effective March 2013). I certainly think that having more recent reliable sources will help make the article better.
    I also think that, contrary to what the letter suggests, the AFA as I understand it would not bar states from enforcing pre-dispute arbitration agreements in consumer and employment contracts under state arbitration law (like New Jersey’s RUAA). This may very well be a wise idea, as it may be better for states to decide their own rules for whether or not arbitration agreements are enforceable and what procedural safeguards will apply to arbitration than to either have the status quo or to completely ban pre-dispute consumer and employment arbitration clauses.

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