Forced Arbitration

Forced arbitration, especially where it prohibits the use of a class action of any kind, can be very destructive of employee rights, undermines labor standards, and contributes to wage suppression, discrimination, and poorer working conditions. As EPI has already shown in a report prepared by Katherine Stone and Alexander J. Colvin, the practice of including clauses in employment contracts that compel the individual arbitration of any workplace complaint, even where statutory rights are involved, is spreading quickly. The ability of employees to bring wage and hour cases, suits to remedy race, gender, or religious discrimination in the workplace, and various statutory claims is being compromised. The remedies obtained in arbitration are, on average, weaker and success is less likely than when employees bring litigation in the courts. EPI considers access to statutory remedies a bedrock part of an agenda to raise wages for American workers.