Report shows 80% of US private sector employees will be forced into arbitration with their employers by 2024

Author: St Louis Labor Tribune and Pai, People's World, Published on: 11 September 2019

"EPI report: Forced arbitration to cover 80% of private sector workers by 2024", 4 Sep 2019

Thanks to a recent U.S. Supreme Court pro-business ruling, some 80% of private-sector U.S. workers will be forced into arbitration with their bosses by 2024, a new report predicts. The report, by the Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Popular Democracy, paints a stark picture of what would happen to workers at the mercy of arbitrators. Statistics show that supposedly neutral quasi-judges side with bosses more than 90% of the time.

And the arbitration clauses, now given supremacy by the Supreme Court’s Epic Systems v. Lewis decision, would let employers strip workers of their right to join together in court to fight wage theft, discrimination or harassment, the report says.

Arbitration, the court’s GOP-named majority ruled, also overrides grievance procedures.

The report, Unchecked Corporate Power: Forced Arbitration, The Enforcement Crisis, And How Workers Are Fighting Back,” projects the Epic Systems case is spurring corporations to dramatically increase their use of forced arbitration clauses. Soon, only a small minority of American workers will be able to sue their employers.

This trend makes it critical that public enforcement agencies, like state departments of Labor, have the resources they need to ensure that employers respect important worker protections like minimum wage, earned sick and family leave, fair workweek standards, and protections against discrimination and harassment, the report says...

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