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Upton and Huizenga Vote Against Ending Forced Arbitration

Representatives Fred Upton and Bill Huizenga of Michigan both voted against HR 963, which would have "prohibit[ed] a pre-dispute arbitration agreement from being valid or enforceable if it requires arbitration of an employment, consumer, antitrust, or civil rights dispute."

What does that mean? The bill targets the practice of forced arbitration, where employees or consumers are forced to waive their right to file lawsuits against employers or companies, instead forcing them to settle disputes in arbitration. The arbiter, or the person who settles the dispute, is typically chosen by the company and sides with the company at significantly higher rates than the civil court system. One study showed that arbiters sided with the company over the consumer or employee 94% of the time.

Forced arbitration is a way for companies to avoid legal liability in the event that they mistreat their employees or are deceptive against their consumers. Employees have no choice- its accept the terms, or don't get hired. And with consumers, forced arbitration is often buried in the terms of agreement.

Forced arbitration is anti-worker and anti-consumer, disproportionately benefiting large corporations who pay for the arbitrators and leaving the employee/consumer without legal recourse. Unlike Representatives Upton and Huizenga, I fully support this bill and I am glad that it passed the House despite their "no" votes. The bill now heads to the Senate.

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