On September 20, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to ban mandatory arbitration of employment or consumer claims. The House voted 225 to 186 in favor of the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act, which would make unenforceable any pre-dispute arbitration agreement that requires arbitration of an employment, consumer, antitrust, or civil rights dispute.
In recent years, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed that agreements requiring parties to submit disputes to arbitration are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act. Arbitration has grown in popularity with businesses as a means to control litigation costs and resolve disputes quickly and privately. Although the FAIR Act bill faces an uphill struggle in the Republican-controlled Senate, it is a noteworthy assault on arbitration and should be watched closely by employers—especially those using arbitration agreements.