ABA House urges legal employers not to require mandatory arbitration in an expanded variety of claims
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In furtherance of the ABA's goal of ensuring justice for all, Resolution 107B asks legal employers not to require mandatory arbitration of unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation claims "based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information or status as a victim of domestic or sexual violence."
The resolution passed overwhelmingly Monday by the ABA House of Delegates at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas. It builds on Resolution 300, which was approved by the House of Delegates at the ABA Annual Meeting in August as a response to the #MeToo movement. Resolution 300 urged legal employers not to require mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims.
“The common circumstance we are looking at is when somebody is given a job offer and only after they accept and reject other offers, they are often given arbitration agreements that waive important statutory rights,” said Mark I. Schickman of California, a member of the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice.
Schickman added that it was important to include unlawful discrimination and retaliation claims in Resolution 107B not only to protect the classes identified in the resolution, but also for arbitrators who would otherwise face one claim in arbitration and the others in court.
Resolution 107B was co-sponsored by the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, the Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, the Commission on Disability Rights, the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, the Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities and th eCommission on Women in the Profession.