Forced arbitration clauses are a form of wealth transfer to the rich


#1

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What, no good news allowed here? CFPB FTW :smiley:
#2

I always cross out and initial those clauses.


#3

I swear the 1% have a mental disease. How much money do you actually need in your life?!? How much is enough for these people?


#4

Is that something that actually works?


#5


“Do you see any tigers around?”


#6

Yes, and corporate use of arbitration clauses is culturally coercive too as with this gay boy legally compelled to receive Christian counseling.

… Mr. Ellison wrote about how the Christian-run program that was supposed to cure his drug and alcohol problem had instead “de-gayed” him. …

He killed himself, and his mom discovered his records could be legally withheld based on an arbitration clause referencing evangelically Christian religious text.


#7

as far as i’m aware, any legal contract or paperwork can be altered by striking out text or adding text as long as such a change is agreed upon by both parties via signature. the initials at the location provide added proof that the alterations weren’t added later.


#8

California’s Labor Commission requires arbitration as a first step in labor disputes (e.g., unpaid overtime). Lawyers aren’t present during the arbitration, but employers go in advised by their lawyers and may ingratiate themselves to the arbiter ahead of the arbitration date. The employee is unlikely to be as well informed or even know that they could do the same. This happened with a friend who knew about the law awarding treble damages for OT unpaid within 72 hours of notifying the employer. She brought it up in arbitration and the arbitrator said, “what do you know about treble damages law?” - and forced her to settle without enforcing this section.


#9

Yes, I wondered that too.

I think there’s trouble when trying it with a corporation. The response tends to be take it or leave it.

If, as in the NY Times story about the suicide, the choice can be sign or else. It’s coercive, sometimes recognized as an adhesion contract.


#10

“agreed upon by both parties” is probably the important part. Good luck getting the corporation to agree.


#11

this is about separating classes, not profit


#12

Agreed. That’s a reason so many more arbitration clauses reference scripture. It’s reaction by intolerant groups (corporations, evangelical churches, etc.) against individual liberties.

Helena, individual liberties badass.


#13

Something that really pissed me off recently? Applying for a job, and finding out that in consideration for them even looking at the application I would have to agree to binding arbitration for all possible employment related claims, and sign away the right to join a class action. Fuckers.


#14

That’s a great example. Proposed employment agreements are often not the sort to return with edits.


#15

They’re especially hard to edit online. And to re-emphasize, you had to e-sign this one before even starting the application.


#16

Hah, I knew Sharia law was being pushed in the United St… Oh, wait, Christian text. Never mind, nothing wrong with that at all.


#17

I dunno, many corporations are awful sloppy with paperwork. There’s a good chance a customized contract might slip right through, because nobody’s looking for it.


#18

Yes, back in the recent past when they were inevitably on paper, lining out offending clauses with initials sometimes worked. Now, increasingly, large service providers foist lengthy contracts on you as pop-ups – after you’ve started service. This happened to me ~3 weeks ago, a few days after I’d opened a new Charter internet service account. A forced binding arbitration clause was buried in what would (on letter sized pages in 12 point font) have been an ~8 page contract agreement.

I was not told a new contract was required to do business at the time I booked the installation appointment, nor when I met their installer a few days later at the new address. I had been doing business with Charter at a prior address via another account number for 8 years and did not realize that adding an account number would trigger an entirely new contract. Even if I had the prescience to ‘know’ this, I would never have suspected that the new contract would be so strikingly unfavorable and overreaching.

This is S.O.P. in today’s consumer marketplace for communications & entertainment services. 35 years ago however, no company would have dreamt of trying this crap; the courts in that era would have smashed such contracts into dust.


#19

I literally CAN’T BELIEVE that 18 comments into this thread and nobody has mentioned the recent & awesome documentary Hot Coffee that is about this exact fuckery of the American people:


#20

34 years ago, the AT&T breakup was mandated.

I’m sure Ma Bell had some dreams…