Workers usually have to sign some type of new-hire paperwork or contract when starting new jobs. These can be short or long documents that cover a wide range of information relevant to specific positions or companies. However, there is one thing that many of these contracts have in common — forced arbitration clauses for those claiming workplace discrimination, sexual harassment and more. A recently passed bill could change this practice.
Many companies in Wisconsin require their employees to address legal disputes during private arbitration that has very little government oversight. Forced arbitration makes it more difficult — but not impossible — for workers to seek justice in the face of discrimination or harassment. Private arbitration also typically yields much less financial compensation than if a victim were to sue his or her employer in court.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act that, if signed into law, would ban companies from using forced arbitration practices. This would restore the right to sue employers to some 60 million U.S. workers. The number of workers who are subject to forced arbitration has more than doubled since the year 2000. The FAIR Act still has to make its way through the Senate, but proponents of the bill point out that passing it through the House was an enormous success.
Workers across all industries, from Starbucks to Google, can suffer from workplace discrimination. These victims should be able to pursue just compensation for things like overtime violations, wage theft, sexual harassment, age discrimination and more, but many feel as if they have no options. Speaking with an experienced attorney in Wisconsin could help a victim of discrimination better assess his or her options for doing so.