Gender and the Law Prof Blog

Editor: Tracy A. Thomas
University of Akron School of Law

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Obama Prohibits Arbitration for Employee Sex Discrimination and Assault Claims

From Public Justice, Slate Story on Obama's Federal Worker Rules

In what Executive Director Paul Bland considers "one of the most important positive steps for civil rights in the last 20 years," President Obama has ordered that corporations who receive federal contracts worth more than $1 million may not require their workers to submit to forced arbitration clauses for claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, or for claims involving sexual assault.   

    Quoting Emily Bazelon's story in Slate, the article explains:

The second part of the order is what Bland is so excited about. This provision says that companies with federal contracts worth more than $1 million can no longer force their employees out of court, and into arbitration, to settle accusations of workplace discrimination. “Here’s why this is so important,” Bland said when I asked him to explain. “For the last 20 years, the Supreme Court has been encouraging employers to force their workers into a system of arbitration that has been badly rigged against the workers. And so this order will result in millions of employees having their rights restored to them."

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