Postings

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 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, the nature of the dispute and whether the consumer or non-consumer party prevailed, among other information.

Protect employees by ending forced arbitration in the workplace
Consumer Action joined advocates in calling on the leaders of the tech industry’s biggest companies, including Apple, Google and Facebook, to remove forced arbitration provisions in employee contracts and take the first steps toward creating a harassment- and discrimination-free environment. While forced arbitration provisions are now common in many types of consumer contracts, forcing an employee into arbitration is equally harmful because of its ability to silence systemic wrongdoing in the workplace.

Do not delay or revise 2016 nursing home protections
Consumer Action joined the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care (Consumer Voice) and many other organizations to decry revisions and delays to 2016 rules for nursing homes.

Advocates call on Congress do more for victims of Equifax breach
The Equifax data breach is prompting advocates to call on Congress for better protection of consumers' sensitive financial information. Not only should free credit freeze legislation be implemented immediately, but Congress should also resist the financial and banking industries attempts to pass legislation that preempts stronger state laws in matters that relate to consumers’ data security and privacy.

Wells Fargo has some (more) explaining to do
As widespread, deceitful business practices at Wells Fargo continue to come to light, and knowing that Wells Fargo most likely withheld information related to an estimated 800,000 cases of fraudulent auto insurance sales practices during its last Congressional hearing, advocate groups are urging the Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services Committee to hold more hearings regarding the bank’s fraudulent activity.

Caller ID authentication provides protection against illegal and unwanted calls
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) acknowledges that consumers get an unacceptably high volume of calls that can annoy or defraud. One particularly disturbing category is spoofed robocalls where the caller ID is a fake, hiding the caller's true identity. Consumer advocates applaud the FCC’s rollout of proposed new rules that aim to stop spoof calls and believe implementing caller ID authentication will aid the agency's attempt to curb robocall scams.

Elderly in homes might be deprived the right to sue for abuse and neglect
Dozens of groups in the Fair Arbitration Now Coalition submitted public comments to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) opposing its proposal to eliminate protections for seniors who are harmed by mistreatment and legal violations in nursing homes.

Will Judge Gorsuch uphold a consumer’s right to a civil trial by jury?
Coalition advocates penned a letter to Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) urging the Senator to question Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, regarding whether he will uphold the entire Constitution, including the Seventh Amendment, which guarantees consumers a right to a civil trial by jury. This is especially important for consumers who have been victimized or defrauded by big businesses. If nominee Gorsuch fails to fully commit to preserving Seventh Amendment protections, the coalition urges Sen. Feinstein to oppose his nomination.

Congress moves to punish malpractice victims using ACA and Medicaid benefits
Malpractice kills as many 400,000 people a year, making it the third leading cause of death in the United States, and is responsible for ten times as many injuries. Yet instead of enhancing patient safety, the House Republicans aim to impose severe limits on medical malpractice lawsuits with H.R. 1215 – a move that would both prevent victims from receiving appropriate compensation and make the malpractice problem worse, by lessening the deterrent effect of litigation.

A checklist for organizations dealing with data breaches
Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has released a new checklist to guide companies and organizations when considering using third-party identity theft monitoring services.

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