WASHINGTON – Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in response to Senator Al Franken’s introduction of the Arbitration Fairness Act (AFA):
“Passage of the Arbitration Fairness Act is vitally important to restoring consumer, employee, and civil rights protections for all people.
Hidden in the agreements we sign every day are clauses that require customers and employees to forgo their right to a trial should they be harmed by their employer or the product manufacturer.
These clauses undercut access to justice for victims of discrimination and other violations by forcing them into mandatory arbitration even before a dispute arises. The Arbitration Fairness Act would ban these pre-dispute, binding mandatory arbitration clauses in civil rights, employment, antitrust, and consumer cases.
The Arbitration Fairness Act is imperative to protecting all Americans—and low-income and minority communities in particular—from faulty products and unscrupulous employers.
We urge the Senate to pass the Arbitration Fairness Act to restore access to our justice system.”
Nancy Zirkin is executive vice president of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.