by Karl Bayer, Victoria VanBuren, and Holly Hayes
Jean R. Sternlight, Michael and Sonja Professor of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law, has published “Mandatory Arbitration Stymies Progress Towards Justice in Employment Law: Where To, #MeToo?,” Harvard Civil Rights- Civil Liberties Law Review (CR-CL), Vol. 54, 2019, Forthcoming. In her journal article, Professor Sternlight discusses her views on the potentially negative consequences of mandatory arbitration in the employment context as well as the waning impact of social movements such as #MeToo.
The abstract states:
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.
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