A group of Democratic lawmakers today announced a bill to end compulsory arbitration, a topic recently pushed by Google employee organizers who joined the legislators during the announcement.
Compulsory arbitration clauses, often inserted in contracts, require employees and others to waive their right to sue. Instead, complaints are directed through a private system. Critics of the widespread system say that employers have the upper hand in disputes.
When he described the practice as "fundamentally unfair and un-American," Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said that the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act or FAIR Law "guaranteed each individual his day in court", previously introduced was reintroduced in the House of Representatives.
Last week, following workers' protests, Google announced that it would stop compulsory arbitration for all disputes, a decision that ceased on a previous announcement to cease the practice of sexual harassment and assault. The organizers said at the time that they would meet after legislating to discuss legislation on the subject.
The bill announced today is not specific to an industry, but Google employees joined the legislature as part of the announcement, along with others affected by enforced arbitration. Tanuja Gupta, a Google employee who organized employee protests, said at the conference that "the time had come to end forced arbitration," and noted that some tech companies had "slowly" abandoned the compulsory arbitration rule.
Do not come today as employees of the same company or even as colleagues in engineering, but as six of the 60 million workers in America who are denied access to justice, "she said.