A growing number of businesses and corporations are turning to arbitration clauses to shield themselves from liability. These clauses are usually hidden deep within consumer or employment contracts, including job offers, cell phone or cable service agreements, and even nursing home contracts. Unfortunately, many people who sign these contracts remain unaware they have forfeited their legal rights until it is too late.
If a consumer ever has a dispute with a corporation, such as a dispute over excessive charges or a discrimination or harassment claim, arbitration clauses stipulate that the consumer cannot take the matter to court. Instead, they must take their complaint to an arbitration forum created by the same corporation they had the dispute with in the first place.
Forced arbitration is designed to favor corporations, making it difficult for the public to hold them accountable for unethical or illegal business practices. In a sense, corporations are getting away with bad behavior unchecked by preventing anyone from challenging them.
The fine print of forced arbitration is hurting Americans in a number of ways:
The New York Times recently published an investigative series on forced arbitration clauses. Click on the links below to read more.
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