Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Getting a credit card, a cell phone or cable service or even accepting a job can mean giving up right to sue the company you’re dealing with.
The New York Times found in an investigation of consumer and employment contracts crafted by corporations that more Americans are being legally prevented from suing businesses, and instead are forced into arbitration hearings that prevent individuals from banding together to fight those with deep pockets. These restrictions are often buried in the fine print of contracts, and must be accepted by consumers and workers if they want their phone or new job.
“By inserting individual arbitration clauses into a soaring number of consumer and employment contracts, companies like American Express devised a way to circumvent the courts and bar people from joining together in class-action lawsuits, realistically the only tool citizens have to fight illegal or deceitful business practices,” according to The New York Times.
The arbitration clauses have become what some judges call a “get out of jail free card” for corporations because they result in plaintiff giving up his or her right to a day in court.