Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) today cosponsored legislation to reduce the prevalence of forced arbitration agreements and restore justice through the court system. The Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act, introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), protects workers and customers from forced arbitration, which often hurts Americans’ ability to challenge practices like predatory lending, wage theft and discrimination.
“Forced arbitration is an unfair practice that limits Nevadans’ right to seek and receive justice in our court system. Today the growing use of forced arbitration provisions in contracts prevents consumers and employees from holding companies accountable. Americans whose data has been stolen in countless data breaches throughout the country have been forced into arbitration and denied fair compensation for the damage caused to them because of this practice. I’m proud to stand up for the rights of Nevadans, and all Americans, by improving the ability of Americans to seek justice.”
In addition to Senators Cortez Masto and Blumenthal, Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Bob Casey (D-Penn.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) also cosponsored this bill.
The Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act amends the Federal Arbitration Act by adding a new chapter that invalidates agreements that require the arbitration of employment, consumer, antitrust or civil rights disputes made before the dispute arises. It also prohibits agreements that interfere with the right of individuals, workers and small businesses to participate in a joint action related to an employment, consumer, antitrust or civil rights dispute. The bill provides an exception that ensures the validity of arbitration agreements that are the product of collective bargaining agreements.