WASHINGTON, D.C., May 21, 2015: Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron released the following statement today in response to a letter sent to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by Members of Congress:
Alliance for Justice is pleased to join with Sen. Al Franken, Rep. Hank Johnson and their colleagues in urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to take swift and strong action against forced arbitration in consumer financial contracts.
Forced arbitration undermines the cherished constitutional principle that all Americans have the opportunity to stand up for their rights in court. They should be able to present their cases to an impartial judge and a jury of their peers. But under forced arbitration, that right is taken away. Individuals must go before an arbitrator effectively chosen by the very company that did the harm. Decisions can’t be appealed and normal standards of evidence don’t apply.
The CFPB documented in telling detail the enormous harm to consumers done by the pernicious practice of forced arbitration. But the problem extends even beyond CFPB’s jurisdiction. Forced arbitration has become increasingly common in employment contracts, undermining some of our most important civil rights laws.
That’s why we also support legislation introduced by Sen. Franken and Rep. Johnson, the Arbitration Fairness Act, that would ban forced arbitration in employment and consumer disputes.
Alliance for Justice, www.afj.org believes that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have their voices heard when government makes decisions that affect their lives. We are 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. Through our justice programs, we lead the progressive community in the fight for a fair judiciary, and through our advocacy programs, we help nonprofits and foundations to realize their advocacy potential.