Mandatory Arbitration Stymies Progress Towards Justice in Employment Law: Where To, #MeToo?

51 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2018

See all articles by Jean R. Sternlight

Jean R. Sternlight

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law

Date Written: November 26, 2018

Abstract

Today our employment law provides workers with far more protection than once existed with respect to hiring, firing, salary, and workplace conditions. Despite these gains, continued progress towards justice is currently in jeopardy due to companies’ imposition of mandatory arbitration on their employees. By denying their employees access to court, companies are causing employment law to stultify. This impacts all employees, but particularly harms the most vulnerable and oppressed members of our society for whom legal evolution is most important. If companies can continue to use mandatory arbitration to eradicate access to court, where judges are potentially influenced by social movements, social movements will no longer be able to assist the overall progressive trend of our jurisprudence. While the phenomenon of mandatory employment arbitration is not new, recent Supreme Court opinions have encouraged an even greater number of employers to use this practice to force employees to take any disputes to arbitration, rather than to court. Focusing particularly on the #MeToo movement, this Article will consider this reality and its detrimental implications for the evolution of legal precedent affecting our most vulnerable employees.

Keywords: arbitration, mandatory arbitration, employment, sexual harassment, social movements

Suggested Citation

Sternlight, Jean R., Mandatory Arbitration Stymies Progress Towards Justice in Employment Law: Where To, #MeToo? (November 26, 2018). Harvard Civil Rights- Civil Liberties Law Review (CR-CL), Vol. 54, 2019, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3290361

Jean R. Sternlight (Contact Author)

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law ( email )

4505 South Maryland Parkway
Box 451003
Las Vegas, NV 89154
United States

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