February 12, 2021
HR Policy Senior Labor and Employment Counsel Roger King emphasized the advantages of arbitration for both claimants and businesses and the need to explore more alternative dispute resolution procedures as opposed to increasing litigation in his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.
In the hearing, entitled “Justice Restored: Ending Forced Arbitration and Protecting Fundamental Rights,” Mr. King highlighted the many positive attributes of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution procedures, including efficiency, specialized adjudicators, and lower costs compared to the overburdened court system. HR Policy has historically supported employers’ alternative dispute resolution efforts, which help alleviate the burden on the courts, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The hearing took place as Democrats reintroduced the FAIR Act (H.R. 963), which would prohibit mandatory predispute arbitration agreements as part of employee and consumer contracts. Mr. King acknowledged the need for safeguarding due process rights for claimants in arbitration proceedings—which are already generally provided for by major arbitration service providers such as the American Arbitration Association However, he cautioned against a wholesale ban on mandatory predispute arbitration agreements, which would result in many claimants being effectively cut off from meaningful resolution of their disputes.