by Deepak Gupta
The Arbitration Fairness Act of 2013 -- legislation that would ban mandatory pre-dispute binding arbitration in consumer and employment contracts -- was introduced today in both houses of Congress by Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.). New to this version of the bill--an exclusion for antitrust disputes.
The House bill (H.R. 1844) has 22 original cosponsors; the Senate bill (S. 878) has 17 original cosponsors. The legislation's proponents hope to use the bill as a catalyst for movement on arbitration in a number of areas -- including hearings, expanded coalition building, continued media attention, as well as supporting action at the CFPB and the SEC and through additional future legislation.
Here's a letter of support from a broad coalition of supporters, including the AFL-CIO, American Association for Justice, American Civil Liberties Union, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, NAACP, National Association of Consumer Advocates, Public Citizen, and U.S. PIRG, among others.