Forced Arbitration = Inverse of an “Impartial” Jury
Buried in the fine print of agreements that govern the products we purchase, the services we use, and even our employment, are hidden arbitration clauses precluding us from having our matters heard before an impartial jury or judge when we are harmed. The result is the replacement of a system that was once built upon a fundamental promise of equal justice to a “for profit system of justice.”
These forced arbitration clauses require us (employees and consumers) to have our disputes resolved by a decision-maker picked by the company that harmed us. As recognized by the Alliance for Justice (“AFJ”), one study found that arbitrators ruled for companies over consumers 94% of the time.
The AFJ is a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. AFJ recently started a campaign to demystify this issue and galvanize others to take action, by, among other things, releasing a short documentary on this issue, Lost in the Fine Print, which tells the story of real people with real issues who found themselves trapped in the system that favors large companies at the expense of hard working Americans. You can watch the trailer of the video below or visit AFJ to watch the full film. Through the AFJ website, you can sign a petition to put an end to this “for profit” system of justice. It is simply unacceptable for corporations to use forced arbitration to dodge accountability for their actions.