What claimants can't go to court?
The employees and consumers who are bound by mandatory arbitration provisions in their employment contracts, credit card agreements, etc.
NPR had an interesting story about the issue, leading with the Halliburton employee who wants to be able to sue her employer for the rape and beating she suffered when stationed in Iraq. Rape Case Highlights Arbitration Debate : NPR, June 9, 2009.
NPR links to:
- the proposed Arbitration Fairness Act, H.R. 1020.
- The empirical study of AAA arbitration from the Searle Civil Justice Institute at Northwestern. One of the "key findings" (lifted from the executive summary):
Consumers won some relief in 53.3% of the cases they filed and recovered an average of $19,255; business claimants won some relief in 83.6% of their cases and recovered an average of $20,648.
- Public Citizen's The Arbitration Debate Trap: How Opponents of Corporate Accountability Distort the Debate on Arbitration.
- Arbitration Better than Court for Consumer Debtors, Study Shows, a press release (July 15, 2008) from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Legal Reform. (Although the Chamber supports arbitration for consumer contracts, it opposes it for union-management disputes. An ad says: "some in Congress want to compromise on workers’rights and jobs by insisting on Mandatory Binding Arbitration.")