Comment Of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member, Sen ate Judiciary Committee On the Need to Pass the Arbitration Fairness Act

[The New York Times recently released a three-part investigative series highlighting the impact on consumers and workers of forced arbitration clauses.  These agreements, often included in the fine print of employment contracts or consumer receipts, require individuals to waive their right to sue in court or their ability to pursue complaints against the corporation in a class action. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has long raised concerns about the practice of forced arbitration, including in hearings of the Senate Judiciary Committee he convened in 2007, 2008, 2011, and 2013.  Leahy is also a long-time co-sponsor of the Arbitration Fairness Act, S. 1133.]

“We cannot allow consumers to be forced into a shadow justice system that consistently favors big corporations and repeat players—a system that operates without transparency or clear precedent.  Hearings I convened when I chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee demonstrated that forced arbitration undermines the rights of hardworking Americans and guts key statutes, like our employment discrimination laws, by making them virtually impossible to enforce in court.

“Congress must act now to stop the injustice of forced arbitration.  I call on the Senate to take up and pass the Arbitration Fairness Act.”

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