Published: March 2018

Transparency lacking in California arbitration proceedings

More than 30 national and California-based consumer, labor and civil rights organizations—including Consumer Action—wrote to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on March 21 urging him to investigate private arbitration firms for violating state law. California requires these firms to periodically disclose basic information about claims they’ve heard so as to inform the public. The 2003 law requires that firms name the corporations and firms involved in the proceeding, the nature of the dispute, and whether the consumer or non-consumer party prevailed, among other information.

The coalition’s letter to California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra regarding private arbitration firms operating in the state cites reports from the Public Law Research Institute at UC Hastings College of Law. The Institute found that no arbitration firm operating in California discloses all information required under California’s landmark arbitration disclosure law. Nine of the 32 firms operating in the state do not provide any data at all.

Public interest in bringing accountability to secret arbitration proceedings has grown in recent months. Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson, Uber whistleblower Susan Fowler, and other leaders in the #MeToo movement are pushing federal legislation to lift the veil of secrecy that perpetrators exploit by imposing arbitration, enabling them to repeatedly assault victims with impunity.

Lead Organization

Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS)

Other Organizations

American Family Voices | Americans for Financial Reform | California Employment Lawyers Association | California Reinvestment Coalition | CALPIRG | Center for Justice & Democracy | Center for Public Interest Law | Consumer Action | Consumer Attorneys of California | Consumer Federation of America | Consumer Federation of California | Consumer Watchdog | Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety | Consumers Union | East Bay Community Law Center | The Greenlining Institute | Homeowners Against Deficient Dwellings | Housing and Economic Rights Advocates | Impact Fund | Level Playing Field | National Association of Consumer Advocates | National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low income clients) | National Consumers League | National Employment Law Project | National Employment Lawyers Association | Privacy Rights Clearinghouse | Public Citizen | Public Good Law Center | Public Justice | The D.C. Consumer Rights Coalition | Trauma Foundation | The Utility Reform Network | U.S. PIRG | UnidosUS (formerly National Council of La Raza) | Workplace Fairness

More Information

To read the letter in full, please click here.

For more information, please visit CARS.

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