The Institute Publishes “Taking ‘Forced’ Out Of Arbitration: How Forced Arbitration Harms America’s Workers”
The Institute is pleased to announce the publication of Taking “Forced” Out Of Arbitration: How Forced Arbitration Harms America’s Workers. Its purpose is to inform and influence a broad audience, including public officials, policy makers, the press, and members of the general public, about forced arbitration of workplace disputes and why it should be abolished. Special efforts are being made to reach immigrant, low wage, and other workers particularly vulnerable to unlawful employment practices. The pamphlet has been translated into Chinese and Spanish.
Forced Arbitration In The Workplace: A Symposium
Hosted by The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy and Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law (2014)
Employee rights advocates, law students, academics, arbitrators, and judges joined The Institute for “Forced Arbitration In The Workplace: A Symposium” at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) on Thursday, February 27, 2014. With over 175 participants, The Institute, in collaboration with the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law (BJELL), brought together a diverse range of experts on forced arbitration, including practitioners, law professors, social science researchers, and government agencies to engage in a thoughtful dialogue and help raise awareness about forced arbitration of workplace disputes.
The law review articles in this issue represent a renewed effort among the legal community to strengthen the scholarship on forced arbitration of workplace disputes and to ensure fairness for workers. Each article contributes to a better understanding of forced arbitration in the workplace and its impact on workers’ ability to enforce their statutory rights.
A Metamorphosis: How Forced Arbitration Arrived In The Workplace
By Carmen Comsti, 2014–2015 Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellow (2014)
This law review article, published in the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law (2014), describes the shift from public enforcement of workplace laws to private forced arbitration. Part I of the article sets the stage by providing a brief overview of the distinctions between voluntary arbitration and forced arbitration. Part II describes the elevation of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) to a “super-statute” and the limited scope of judicial review of forced arbitration provisions and awards. Part III discusses how the courts have misapplied traditional labor law jurisprudence to justify the expansion of forced arbitration of employment disputes under the FAA. Finally, Part IV explores how forced arbitration has eroded the statutory purposes and protections of our nation’s workplace laws, focusing on the Fair Labor Standards Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These developments have transformed the employee-employer relationship from one that is regulated by worker protection statutes enforced in our public justice system to one that operates in private tribunals where workers are forced to arbitrate their claims as a condition of employment and without due process guarantees.
United We Stand: Effectively Representing Immigrants In Employment Cases
In March of 2013, The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy hosted a one-day program, United We Stand: Effectively Representing Immigrants In Employment Cases, on the tremendous opportunities and particular challenges in representing immigrant workers.
National Study of Public Attitudes on Forced Arbitration
By The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy and Public Citizen (2009)
In April 2009, The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy (The Institute), in collaboration with Public Citizen, released a study based on a major national survey on forced arbitration of employment and consumer claims conducted by Lake Research Partners, one of the most respected national public opinion and political strategy research firms in the country. This important research was made possible by a grant from The Public Welfare Foundation.
Summary Judgment Toolkit
The Institute’s Summary Judgment Toolkit educates the judiciary and broader legal community about the need for summary judgment reform, and supports employee rights advocates in defeating motions for summary judgment. By taking aim at the “problem doctrines”— judicially imposed obstacles that prevent employees from seeking to vindicate their workplace rights before a jury—The Toolkit provides employee rights advocates with resources to help them overcome summary judgment and keep their clients’ cases in court.
Top 10 Tips To Make Your Case “Summary Judgment Proof”
The Institute’s “Top 10 Tips To Make Your Case ‘Summary Judgment Proof’” was compiled from presentations at the National Employment Lawyers Association’s (NELA’s) seminar, Surviving Summary Judgment In Employment Cases (October 2009); a plenary session at the 2010 NELA Annual Convention titled “The Institute’s National Litigation Strategy Project: Reforming Summary Judgment Abuse” (June 2010); two panels at the 2011 NELA Annual Convention, “Lessons From The Professors: Defeating Summary Judgment & Enforcing The Right To Trial By Jury,” and “Using Techniques From Other Areas Of The Law To ‘Prosecute’ Employment Cases” (June 2011); and The Institute’s Symposium, Trial By Jury Or Trial By Motion?: Summary Judgment, Iqbal, And Employment Discrimination (April 2012).
2012 Symposium: Trial By Jury Or Trial By Motion?: Summary Judgment, Iqbal And Employment Discrimination
Nearly 200 employee advocates, judges and academics joined The Institute on Monday, April 23, 2012 at New York Law School for a symposium called, “Trial By Jury Or Trial By Motion?: Summary Judgment, Iqbal And Employment Discrimination.”
The symposium’s inter-disciplinary approach examined plaintiffs’ disproportionately high failure rates on pre- and post-trial motions in employment discrimination cases, and explored potential strategies to reverse this troubling trend.
The program was dedicated to the memory of Professor Robert Belton, who passed away in February 2012. It was the Professor who dreamed up the symposium as part of The Institute’s National Litigation Strategy Project (NLSP) and worked with us to make it a reality.
The materials for each panel, including the keynote address by The Honorable Denny R. Chin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, are available on the New York Law School Law Review website.
Panel: A View From The Bench-The Judges’ Perspective On Summary Judgment In Employment Discrimination Cases
Panel: Problems With Litigating Summary Judgment In Employment Cases
Keynote Speaker The Honorable Denny R. Chin, U.S. Court Of Appeals For The Second Circuit
Panel: The Interplay Of Pleading Standards & Summary Judgment
Closing Q&A With Final Remarks