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house Bill H.R. 1423

Should Forced Arbitration Agreements be Invalidated?

Argument in favor

Forced arbitration agreements undermine the rights of workers and consumers in disputes with employers and companies, respectively. This bill would make predispute arbitration agreements invalid and unenforceable.

burrkitty's Opinion
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09/20/2019
Forced arbitration is unconstitutional as it is denying the right to the due process of law. For example, the 7th Amendment of the Constitution guarantees all Americans the right to a trial by jury. Yet, there is a shady practice found within many businesses that makes exercising your 7th amendment rights a near impossibility in civil cases. That practice is known as forced arbitration. It is not uncommon for businesses to bury arbitration agreements within the fine print of a contract for consumers to sign. If you’ve ever applied for a credit card, opened a bank account, bought a car, or put a loved one in a nursing home, you’ve almost certainly signed an arbitration agreement without even knowing it! When you have to sign a contract with an arbitration agreement, you have been forced to waive your 7th Amendment rights. That means if you have a dispute with the company in question, you must settle it through arbitration. In these proceedings, there is no judge. There is no jury. Usually, you are not allowed to appeal the final decision. Additionally, arbitrations can be expensive to the plaintiff. The arbitration agreement often dictates what arbitration company must be used, a list from which the arbitrator must be selected, and what law will apply. As you can imagine, the companies that draft arbitration agreements are sure to include terms that favor them instead of you. Forced arbitration clauses create a barrier to holding wrongdoers responsible. The only way to change the enforcement of forced arbitration clauses is to change the Federal Arbitration Act. Congress has proposed several limitations on the scope of the Act in recent years. These efforts can be encouraged and supported.
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jimK's Opinion
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09/20/2019
Yes, forced arbitration can obviously be abused and run counter to adequately addressing plaintiff concerns. Employees looking for work just agree because they need to work. Kind of like signing those cell phone agreements, or software update agreements if you want your cell phone to still work or have the software that you have already purchased work. I do think that agreed-to optional arbitration as a way to quickly resolve pertinent issues can still be an effective choice for all involved. I was asked to testify in a forced arbitration case involving federal employees (who cannot sue their employer nor ’officially’ go on strike). The process was fair. The arbitrator was chosen from a pool with some involvement of an employee union representative. I was in management and greatly pissed off way-high-up agency management by supporting the case for the employees. I thought the arbitrator and the process was fair; of course, we won. My point is that arbitration can be fair, but I can certainly see where a company appointed arbitrator could be greatly biased.
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Cheryl's Opinion
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09/15/2019
Banned and invalidated..... about time politicians do what you always promise in your campaigns and be on the side of CONSUMERS, not corporations. Last I checked corporations were running to their offshore accounts weekly to shovel in the money you stole for them from consumers.
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Argument opposed

Arbitration agreements save time, money, and effort for everyone involved when disputes arise between employers & employees or companies & consumers. It would be better to reform arbitration than ban it altogether.

Doug's Opinion
···
09/20/2019
Like any legal contract, it’s only binding if all parties agree to the terms. No one is holding a gun to anyone’s head to sign these agreements. If a person has an objection they are free to negotiate terms of their liking or not enter in to the agreement.
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SneakyPete's Opinion
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09/20/2019
Arbitration agreements save time, money, and effort for everyone involved when disputes arise between employers & employees or companies & consumers. It would be better to reform arbitration than ban it altogether.
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J's Opinion
···
09/20/2019
Why would labor unions be precluded from this law? That alone says there’s something seriously wrong with this law!
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    Forced arbitration is unconstitutional as it is denying the right to the due process of law. For example, the 7th Amendment of the Constitution guarantees all Americans the right to a trial by jury. Yet, there is a shady practice found within many businesses that makes exercising your 7th amendment rights a near impossibility in civil cases. That practice is known as forced arbitration. It is not uncommon for businesses to bury arbitration agreements within the fine print of a contract for consumers to sign. If you’ve ever applied for a credit card, opened a bank account, bought a car, or put a loved one in a nursing home, you’ve almost certainly signed an arbitration agreement without even knowing it! When you have to sign a contract with an arbitration agreement, you have been forced to waive your 7th Amendment rights. That means if you have a dispute with the company in question, you must settle it through arbitration. In these proceedings, there is no judge. There is no jury. Usually, you are not allowed to appeal the final decision. Additionally, arbitrations can be expensive to the plaintiff. The arbitration agreement often dictates what arbitration company must be used, a list from which the arbitrator must be selected, and what law will apply. As you can imagine, the companies that draft arbitration agreements are sure to include terms that favor them instead of you. Forced arbitration clauses create a barrier to holding wrongdoers responsible. The only way to change the enforcement of forced arbitration clauses is to change the Federal Arbitration Act. Congress has proposed several limitations on the scope of the Act in recent years. These efforts can be encouraged and supported.
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    Like any legal contract, it’s only binding if all parties agree to the terms. No one is holding a gun to anyone’s head to sign these agreements. If a person has an objection they are free to negotiate terms of their liking or not enter in to the agreement.
    Like (22)
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    Yes, forced arbitration can obviously be abused and run counter to adequately addressing plaintiff concerns. Employees looking for work just agree because they need to work. Kind of like signing those cell phone agreements, or software update agreements if you want your cell phone to still work or have the software that you have already purchased work. I do think that agreed-to optional arbitration as a way to quickly resolve pertinent issues can still be an effective choice for all involved. I was asked to testify in a forced arbitration case involving federal employees (who cannot sue their employer nor ’officially’ go on strike). The process was fair. The arbitrator was chosen from a pool with some involvement of an employee union representative. I was in management and greatly pissed off way-high-up agency management by supporting the case for the employees. I thought the arbitrator and the process was fair; of course, we won. My point is that arbitration can be fair, but I can certainly see where a company appointed arbitrator could be greatly biased.
    Like (60)
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    Share
    Banned and invalidated..... about time politicians do what you always promise in your campaigns and be on the side of CONSUMERS, not corporations. Last I checked corporations were running to their offshore accounts weekly to shovel in the money you stole for them from consumers.
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    I'm sick of big business bending the rules to always take unfair advantage of consumers. It's time that consumers get fair treatment.
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    You are forced into signing these arbitration agreements in order to receive services (like Kaiser healthcare). I always feel blindsided when confronted with these forms. It’s like sign or die. You don’t know in advance what egregious harm may come to you and you should not have your right to sue taken from you.
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    Arbitration agreements save time, money, and effort for everyone involved when disputes arise between employers & employees or companies & consumers. It would be better to reform arbitration than ban it altogether.
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    Absolutely!!! I can’t tell you how fantastic it is to see a bill that will have a phenomenally positive impact on every citizen come to a vote! About damn time something is done to stop ridiculous forced arbitrations! Thank you for being on the consumer’s side, not the corporations side! More bills like this to protect consumers please!!
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    Forced Arbitration denies a person their due process. If a person voluntarily chooses arbitration, that's one thing, being forced into it is quite another...and that flys in the face of due process.
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    In general, I favor this. However, trials are costly. I would further support making trial costs free so poor people could access our legal system without the scariest phase: legal fees. How that should be done is a matter of debate, but that’s the debate I’d like to have! I don’t want to debate if you can only work for someone if (in essence) your employer’s lawyer gets to decide the outcome of a dispute.
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    Why would labor unions be precluded from this law? That alone says there’s something seriously wrong with this law!
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    The power that corporations and employers wield over us is already immense! There is no need or justification for this power to be magnified by barring us from the courts! These corporations are afraid that their crimes will cost them--so they block all access to those who can hold them accountable!
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    Forced arbitration agreements undermine the rights of workers and consumers in disputes with employers and companies, respectively. This bill would make predispute arbitration agreements invalid and unenforceable.
    Like (10)
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    For any company to require an American to sign away a basic American right in order to obtain services should be illegal. Everyone knows it’s wrong. If forced arbitration didn’t favor corporations, they would not require it. Please pass this legislation and stop it now.
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    This is not the governments business.
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    When will the worker have rights over the employer? They are the ones doing the work.
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    We should not be forced into arbitration.
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    Finally. It is about time we see a bill that will positively impact every citizen. About time something is done to stop ridiculous forced arbitrations! It’s about time the government is doing something for the consumer, not the corporations! We must have More bills like this to protect consumers.
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    Forced arbitration agreements undermine the rights of workers and consumers in disputes with employers and companies, respectively. This bill would make predispute arbitration agreements invalid and unenforceable.
    Like (6)
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    No one should be forced into arbitration. Our country pledge states: with liberty and justice for all. That should include pursuing a case in the courts—and everyone should be allowed to do so.
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