Every day, Americans are forced to sign contracts that rob them of their Constitutional rights—without even realizing it. If you think you’ve never signed such a contract, you may be right…unless you have a cell phone or a credit card or a checking account. These contracts are everywhere these days, and it’s becoming nearly impossible to avoid them altogether.
The contracts involved here include something called forced arbitration clauses. If a company harms you or cheats you in some way—however egregiously—a forced arbitration clause denies you of your right to take the company to court. Instead, any grievance you have gets addressed in a non-public (i.e. secret) proceeding, the terms of which are dictated by the company. The company also gets to choose the arbiter who single-handedly decides the outcome of the proceeding. Once you sign a contract with a forced arbitration clause, you have essentially no recourse to justice if you happen to be wronged.
You can help fight forced arbitration clauses at the lawmaking level, however, by telling Congress to support the Arbitration Fairness Act (H.R. 1844 and S. 878). It’s vital for us as consumers to make our voices heard over the dull roar of corporate influence. Contact your Congressperson about this issue today.