DESCRIPTION: An important first step toward ending forced arbitration, a tactic increasingly inserted by corporations into the fine print of their consumer and employment contracts, was accomplished today when the Senate followed the House and overwhelmingly passed HR 4445, the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021. Consumer Reports, a strong advocate of ending forced arbitration across the board, joined a broad coalition of public interest advocates in urging passage. This is a recognition by Congress that forced arbitration is fundamentally unfair, and will hopefully provide impetus for passing the broader Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act.
To document how common these forced arbitration clauses have become, Consumer Reports reviewed consumer products in the most popular product categories it rates – and in two additional categories where safety is a paramount concern, bike helmets and child car seats – and published its findings in 2020. Of the 117 brand/category combinations examined, 60 percent included arbitration clauses.