DWC to Focus on Forced Arbitration
Washington, DC – Co-Chairs of the Democratic Women’s Caucus (DWC) Reps. Jackie Speier (CA-14), Lois Frankel (FL-21), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), and DWC Vice Chairs Reps. Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and Deb Haaland (NM-01) will host a Special Order Hour on Tuesday, September 10, 2019 to raise awareness of the extreme harm caused to women by forced arbitration and the critical need for Congress to pass the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act. The Judiciary Committee will markup the FAIR Act on Tuesday, September 10 at 2 PM.
DWC Members will read accounts from the women most impacted by patently unfair forced arbitration clauses on the House floor Tuesday night. These include workers at Sterling Jewelers, which at one point had nearly 70,000 workers seeking accountability from the conglomerate for systemic pay and promotion discrimination.
The #MeToo movement spurred an outpouring of workers bravely sharing their experiences with forced arbitration and demanding systemic change. Over 60 million American workers are subject to mandatory arbitration, meaning they can’t take their claims of pay inequity, sexual harassment, or abuse to court and enabling further misconduct. Arbitration proceedings are often shrouded in secrecy, arranged by the company, and have minimal oversight. Women, minorities, immigrants and others who already lack explicit protections are especially vulnerable to abuses in the informal arbitration process. Research has shown that these proceedings are more favorable to employers and hamper the pursuit of justice.
The FAIR Act would restore access to justice by eliminating forced arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, and civil rights cases, and allowing consumers and workers to agree to arbitration after a dispute occurs.
Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14), DWC Co-Chair
Rep. Lois Frankel (FL-21), DWC Co-Chair
Rep. Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), DWC Co-Chair
Rep. Veronica Escobar (TX-16), DWC Vice Chair
Rep. Deb Haaland, (NM-01) DWC Vice Chair
Other DWC Members
What: DWC Special Order Hour on the Damage Caused by Forced Arbitration and the need to pass the FAIR Act
When: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at approximately 5 P.M.
Where: Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives
The Special Order Hour can be viewed live at https://www.c-span.org/congress/ for those who are unable to attend.