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S.987 - Arbitration Fairness Act of 2011
A bill to amend title 9 of the United States Code with respect to arbitration.
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Mr. FRANKEN (for himself, Mr. BLUMENTHAL, Mr. LEAHY, Mr. DURBIN, Mr. WHITEHOUSE, Mr. BROWN of Ohio, Mr. HARKIN, Mr. KERRY, Mr. MERKLEY, Mr. UDALL of New Mexico, Mr. WYDEN, Mr. CASEY, and Mrs. BOXER) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the JudiciaryCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
(1) The Federal Arbitration Act (now enacted as chapter 1 of title 9 of the United States Code) was intended to apply to disputes between commercial entities of generally similar sophistication and bargaining power.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) A series of decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States have changed the meaning of the Act so that it now extends to consumer disputes and employment disputes.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) Most consumers and employees have little or no meaningful choice whether to submit their claims to arbitration. Often, consumers and employees are not even aware that they have given up their rights.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. ARBITRATION OF EMPLOYMENT, CONSUMER, AND CIVIL RIGHTS DISPUTES.
‘CHAPTER 4--ARBITRATION OF EMPLOYMENT, CONSUMER, AND CIVIL RIGHTS DISPUTES
‘Sec. 401. Definitions
‘(ii) a Federal or State statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion, national origin, or any invidious basis in education, employment, credit, housing, public accommodations and facilities, voting, or program funded or conducted by the Federal Government or State government, including any statute enforced by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and any statute enumerated in section 62(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (relating to unlawful discrimination); andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(B) in which at least 1 party alleging a violation of the Constitution of the United States, a State constitution, or a statute prohibiting discrimination is an individual;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) the term ‘consumer dispute’ means a dispute between an individual who seeks or acquires real or personal property, services (including services relating to securities and other investments), money, or credit for personal, family, or household purposes and the seller or provider of such property, services, money, or credit;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(3) the term ‘employment dispute’ means a dispute between an employer and employee arising out of the relationship of employer and employee as defined in section 3 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (
29 U.S.C. 203); andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘Sec. 402. Validity and enforceability
‘(a) In General- Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, no predispute arbitration agreement shall be valid or enforceable if it requires arbitration of an employment dispute, consumer dispute, or civil rights dispute.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(1) IN GENERAL- An issue as to whether this chapter applies to an arbitration agreement shall be determined under Federal law. The applicability of this chapter to an agreement to arbitrate and the validity and enforceability of an agreement to which this chapter applies shall be determined by a court, rather than an arbitrator, irrespective of whether the party resisting arbitration challenges the arbitration agreement specifically or in conjunction with other terms of the contract containing such agreement.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
‘(2) COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS- Nothing in this chapter shall apply to any arbitration provision in a contract between an employer and a labor organization or between labor organizations, except that no such arbitration provision shall have the effect of waiving the right of an employee to seek judicial enforcement of a right arising under a provision of the Constitution of the United States, a State constitution, or a Federal or State statute, or public policy arising therefrom.’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink