The U.S. House passed a bill that would void all pre-dispute mandatory arbitration agreements in consumer contracts like nursing home admissions. This is incredible news. Preserving our constitutional right to a jury trial is essential. According to a report by the Economic Policy Institute from 2018, more than 60 million workers are barred from access to the courts.
The House voted 222-209 to advance the FAIR Act. FAIR is an acronym for the measure’s formal title: the “Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal” Act. President Biden signed a law that bars the enforcement of arbitration agreements for victims of sexual harassment or assault.
Civil Rights groups and Consumer Advocates support the FAIR ACT. The FAIR Act prohibits corporations from forcing workers and consumers into pre-dispute forced arbitration agreements. Most are hidden in non-negotiable contracts. These agreements force citizens to give up their right to the courts to receive nursing home services. However, the bill preserves the right to arbitrate. It does not prohibit the voluntary use of arbitration after a dispute arises.