Democrats to Introduce Bills Today to Block Arbitration Clauses

From the press release:

On Tuesday, March 7, Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) and top Senate and House Democrats will hold a press conference to push legislation to stop the use of unfair forced arbitration clauses, which are widely used by corporations to limit consumers’ and employees’ access to justice.

 The lawmakers will be joined by individuals who have been personally harmed by forced arbitration, including former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson.

 From nursing home contracts and employment agreements to credit card and cell phone contracts, Corporate America uses forced arbitration clauses to restrict Americans’ access to justice by stripping consumers and workers of their right to go to court. Instead, consumers and workers are forced into an arbitration system where corporations can write the rules; everything can be done in secret, without public rulings; discovery can be limited, making it hard for consumers to get the evidence they need to prove their case; and there’s no meaningful judicial review, so consumers and employees are often unable to appeal a decision even if the arbitrator gets it wrong. 

Senate and House Democrats will reintroduce and discuss legislation aimed at limiting forced arbitration in a wide variety contexts. And as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares for its hearing on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Democrats will highlight the effects of mandatory arbitration on ordinary Americans’ access to the courts to hold powerful corporations accountable.  



WHO:            Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.)

                        Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)

                        Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

                        Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)

                        Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

Congressman Hank Johnson (D-Ga.)

                        Congressman David Cicilline (D-R.I.)

Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Calif.)

Gretchen Carlson is a former Fox News anchor, whose Fox News employment contract would have barred her from speaking publicly about her allegations of sexual harassment against former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes.

Aaron Brodie is a victim of Wells Fargo’s illegal practice of establishing accounts without permission. Aaron is now suing Wells Fargo, and Wells Fargo is attempting to force him to submit to arbitration instead of being able to hold the bank accountable in court.

Kevin Ziober is a Navy reservist who was fired by his former employer in 2012 after he informed them that he would be deployed to Afghanistan. He filed suit when he returned under a federal law which forbids retaliation against deployed military service members, but his company forced his dispute into private arbitration. 

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