The Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act has garnered support from six Google employees on Thursday. The said bill is proposed by US Lawmakers to ban mandatory arbitration in consumer and employment contracts. Recently, Alphabet Inc had to drop arbitration provisions, and this success has fueled up the workers to seek a complete ban on it.
Mandatory arbitration is a clause in employment and consumer contracts which prevents people from filing lawsuits in cases of disputes between employers and employees, and instead, seek to solve them with the help of a private arbitrator. The workers’ rights activists have repeatedly expressed concerns over businesses requiring private arbitration in order to avoid public scrutiny in cases of harassment and discrimination allegations.
A New York based Google employee, Tanuja Gupta, expressed concerns over being unable to have an honest dialogue regarding consumer protections until the curtain of forced arbitrations is pulled back. Members of Congress shared the sentiment at a news conference in Washington, saying that the FAIR Act and several pieces of legislation on similar grounds would make sure individual and class-action lawsuits are always an option in a range of disputes.
On the contrary, business groups claim the usefulness of arbitration in providing timely resolutions to disputes, as opposed to time-consuming lawsuits which profit lawyers more than the plaintiffs.
Democratic lawmakers have a history of trying to curb mandatory arbitration, but they continue to struggle when it comes to getting support from the Republicans. Richard Blumenthal is, however, optimistic that he expects the FAIR Act to pass the Democrat-controlled house this year. He also said that the bill was about ensuring that every person has his day in the court.
Andy Phelan also supported the bill by pointing out that tech workers had never shown up at a bill introduced before.