HR Management & Compliance

News Notes: Mandatory Arbitration Programs Under Attack

New developments signal a growing trend toward restricting the use of mandatory arbitration. The California Supreme Court recently decided a case involving charges that the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group misrepresented the fairness of its mandatory arbitration system for medical malpractice claims. The Supreme Court issued a strong directive to lower courts to ensure that private arbitration programs of all types are administered fairly.10 And last month, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) took the position that arbitration agreements required as a condition of employment are in conflict with federal anti-discrimination laws. However, EEOC pronouncements aren’t binding on courts, which have generally supported arbitration. Also, lawmakers in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C., have introduced legislation to curb the use of arbitration. We’ll keep you posted.