For Immediate Release
Phone: (202) 775-8810
EPI Applauds the Reintroduction of the Fair Act
Statement by Heidi Shierholz and Margaret Poydock
WASHINGTON - Today, the House of Representatives introduced the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act which eliminates forced arbitration in employment, consumer, antitrust, and civil rights disputes. Under current law, employers are allowed to require workers to sign arbitration agreements to resolve workplace disputes. In doing so, workers sign away their right to bring their employer to court when they experience unsafe working conditions, wage theft, or sexual harassment on the job. Instead, workers must resolve the dispute in a closed-door process that favors the employer. As of 2017, 56.2% of private-sector nonunion workers were subjected to forced arbitration agreements and an EPI and Center on Popular Democracy analysis projects that by 2024, that share will rise to more than 80%. The FAIR Act is a crucial step toward ending the growing practice of forced arbitration. Congress must pass this critical piece of legislation to ensure workers are able to enforce their rights and are not barred from bringing their employer to court.
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The Economic Policy Institute, a nonprofit Washington D.C. think tank, was created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers. Today, with global competition expanding, wage inequality rising, and the methods and nature of work changing in fundamental ways, it is as crucial as ever that people who work for a living have a voice in the economic discourse.