by Patricia A. Schaeffer, Vice President-Regulatory Affairs

Legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate that would eliminate mandatory arbitration of employment claims unless pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.

The Arbitration Fairness Act (S. 1782) was introduced in the Senate on July 12, 2007 by Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI). The bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. A section-by-section analysis of the Senate bill is contained in the Congressional Record. A companion bill (H.R. 3010) was introduced in the House on the same day by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and was referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

The legislation is in response to the growing trend towards mandatory employment arbitration agreements. Supporters of the legislation believe such agreements unfairly force employees to give up their rights to have their disputes resolved by a judge or jury.

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