Core Provisions: This Act would amend the Federal Arbitration Act to invalidate any pre-dispute arbitration agreement requiring arbitration of an employment, consumer or franchise dispute, or any dispute arising under any statute “intended to protect civil rights or to regulate contracts or transactions between parties of unequal bargaining power.” The Act would apply to any dispute that arises after the legislation is enacted, regardless of the date of the pre-dispute arbitration agreement. The Act would not invalidate arbitration clauses in collective bargaining agreements. Congressional findings in H.R.3010 express concern that consumers and employees have few meaningful choices when they sign pre-dispute arbitration agreements, and that mandatory arbitration is becoming increasingly widespread despite possible arbitrator partiality, non-transparency, the lack of “meaningful” judicial review and unfair provisions in arbitration agreements.
Status: H.R.3010 was introduced in the House by Rep. Johnson (D-GA) on July 12, 2007 and hearings were held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law on October 25, 2007 (see Hearings on the Hill, Page 1). On July 15, 2008, the bill was reported out favorably to the full House Judiciary Committee. In the Senate, S.1782 was introduced by Sen. Feingold (D-WI) on July 12, 2007 and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. H.R.3010 has 53 co-sponsors, while S.1782 has six co-sponsors.