SB 578 prevents some employees who have experienced harassment, discrimination, or labor abuses from having their cases heard in public court by locking them into arbitration. In arbitration, a private, third party is paid to settle the dispute, but plaintiffs have fewer rights or abilities to gather evidence. The settlement and all charges and evidence are often kept secret in forced arbitration cases, allowing harassers to move on with minimal consequences and no exposure of their misdeeds.
Indivisible Missouri opposes SB 578 because:
It silences victims and lessens the chances they will come forward. Often times victims more willing to come forward when they know they are not alone but stay silent if they believe it only happened to them, as evidenced by the enormous response to the anti-sexual harassment #MeToo movement.
Employees would be denied the opportunity to have their case heard in court. Employers increasingly require new employees to sign arbitration agreements as a standard requirement for employment; No arbitration agreement, no job. Employees effectively have no choice but to submit to a secretive corporate system where the odds are stacked against them.
Arbitration can stop employees from combining their resources to push for company-wide change. Under arbitration, any complaints against the company could only be brought by individuals and would remain private out of the public eye. This lessens the chance for employees to band together to change a negative work environment.
Missourians have a constitutional right to a court trial. Arbitration only hurts the “little guy” and protects big business. Forced arbitration removes the ability of the employee for a jury trial. Representative Lauren Arthur “Why are employers forcing employees to waive their constitutional rights? And why is the Missouri General Assembly helping employers do it?”
Sample Call Script:
“Hi, my name is __________, I'm a constituent from ___________, and I want Senator __________ to oppose SB 578 bill because _____________.”
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