Text: H.R.1423 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (09/24/2019)

 
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[H.R. 1423 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

<DOC>
116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1423


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           September 24, 2019

  Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To amend title 9 of the United States Code with respect to arbitration.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal 
Act'' or the ``FAIR Act''.

SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are to--
            (1) prohibit predispute arbitration agreements that force 
        arbitration of future employment, consumer, antitrust, or civil 
        rights disputes; and
            (2) prohibit agreements and practices that interfere with 
        the right of individuals, workers, and small businesses to 
        participate in a joint, class, or collective action related to 
        an employment, consumer, antitrust, or civil rights dispute.

SEC. 3. ARBITRATION OF EMPLOYMENT, CONSUMER, ANTITRUST, AND CIVIL 
              RIGHTS DISPUTES.

    (a) In General.--Title 9 of the United States Code is amended by 
adding at the end the following:

``CHAPTER 4--ARBITRATION OF EMPLOYMENT, CONSUMER, ANTITRUST, AND CIVIL 
                            RIGHTS DISPUTES

``Sec.
``401. Definitions.
``402. No validity or enforceability.
``Sec. 401. Definitions
    ``In this chapter--
            ``(1) the term `antitrust dispute' means a dispute--
                    ``(A) arising from an alleged violation of the 
                antitrust laws (as defined in subsection (a) of the 
                first section of the Clayton Act) or State antitrust 
                laws; and
                    ``(B) in which the plaintiffs seek certification as 
                a class under rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil 
                Procedure or a comparable rule or provision of State 
                law;
            ``(2) the term `civil rights dispute' means a dispute--
                    ``(A) arising from an alleged violation of--
                            ``(i) the Constitution of the United States 
                        or the constitution of a State;
                            ``(ii) any Federal, State, or local law 
                        that prohibits discrimination on the basis of 
                        race, sex, age, gender identity, sexual 
                        orientation, disability, religion, national 
                        origin, or any legally protected status in 
                        education, employment, credit, housing, public 
                        accommodations and facilities, voting, veterans 
                        or servicemembers, health care, or a program 
                        funded or conducted by the Federal Government 
                        or State government, including any law referred 
                        to or described in section 62(e) of the 
                        Internal Revenue Code of 1986, including parts 
                        of such law not explicitly referenced in such 
                        section but that relate to protecting 
                        individuals on any such basis; and
                    ``(B) in which at least one party alleging a 
                violation described in subparagraph (A) is one or more 
                individuals (or their authorized representative), 
                including one or more individuals seeking certification 
                as a class under rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil 
                Procedure or a comparable rule or provision of State 
                law;
            ``(3) the term `consumer dispute' means a dispute between--
                    ``(A) one or more individuals who seek or acquire 
                real or personal property, services (including services 
                related to digital technology), securities or other 
                investments, money, or credit for personal, family, or 
                household purposes including an individual or 
                individuals who seek certification as a class under 
                rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or a 
                comparable rule or provision of State law; and
                    ``(B)(i) the seller or provider of such property, 
                services, securities or other investments, money, or 
                credit; or
                    ``(ii) a third party involved in the selling, 
                providing of, payment for, receipt or use of 
                information about, or other relationship to any such 
                property, services, securities or other investments, 
                money, or credit;
            ``(4) the term `employment dispute' means a dispute between 
        one or more individuals (or their authorized representative) 
        and a person arising out of or related to the work relationship 
        or prospective work relationship between them, including a 
        dispute regarding the terms of or payment for, advertising of, 
        recruiting for, referring of, arranging for, or discipline or 
        discharge in connection with, such work, regardless of whether 
        the individual is or would be classified as an employee or an 
        independent contractor with respect to such work, and including 
        a dispute arising under any law referred to or described in 
        section 62(e) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, including 
        parts of such law not explicitly referenced in such section but 
        that relate to protecting individuals on any such basis, and 
        including a dispute in which an individual or individuals seek 
        certification as a class under rule 23 of the Federal Rules of 
        Civil Procedure or as a collective action under section 16(b) 
        of the Fair Labor Standards Act, or a comparable rule or 
        provision of State law;
            ``(5) the term `predispute arbitration agreement' means an 
        agreement to arbitrate a dispute that has not yet arisen at the 
        time of the making of the agreement; and
            ``(6) the term `predispute joint-action waiver' means an 
        agreement, whether or not part of a predispute arbitration 
        agreement, that would prohibit, or waive the right of, one of 
        the parties to the agreement to participate in a joint, class, 
        or collective action in a judicial, arbitral, administrative, 
        or other forum, concerning a dispute that has not yet arisen at 
        the time of the making of the agreement.
``Sec. 402. No validity or enforceability
    ``(a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of this 
title, no predispute arbitration agreement or predispute joint-action 
waiver shall be valid or enforceable with respect to an employment 
dispute, consumer dispute, antitrust dispute, or civil rights dispute.
    ``(b) Applicability.--
            ``(1) In general.--An issue as to whether this chapter 
        applies with respect to a dispute shall be determined under 
        Federal law. The applicability of this chapter to an agreement 
        to arbitrate and the validity and enforceability of an 
        agreement to which this chapter applies shall be determined by 
        a court, rather than an arbitrator, irrespective of whether the 
        party resisting arbitration challenges the arbitration 
        agreement specifically or in conjunction with other terms of 
        the contract containing such agreement, and irrespective of 
        whether the agreement purports to delegate such determinations 
        to an arbitrator.
            ``(2) Collective bargaining agreements.--Nothing in this 
        chapter shall apply to any arbitration provision in a contract 
        between an employer and a labor organization or between labor 
        organizations, except that no such arbitration provision shall 
        have the effect of waiving the right of a worker to seek 
        judicial enforcement of a right arising under a provision of 
        the Constitution of the United States, a State constitution, or 
        a Federal or State statute, or public policy arising 
        therefrom.''.
    (b) Technical and Conforming Amendments.--
            (1) In general.--Title 9 of the United States Code is 
        amended--
                    (A) in section 1 by striking ``of seamen,'' and all 
                that follows through ``interstate commerce'' and 
                inserting in its place ``of individuals, regardless of 
                whether such individuals are designated as employees or 
                independent contractors for other purposes'';
                    (B) in section 2 by inserting ``or as otherwise 
                provided in chapter 4'' before the period at the end;
                    (C) in section 208--
                            (i) in the section heading by striking 
                        ``chapter 1; residual application'' and 
                        inserting ``application''; and
                            (ii) by adding at the end the following: 
                        ``This chapter applies to the extent that this 
                        chapter is not in conflict with chapter 4.''; 
                        and
                    (D) in section 307--
                            (i) in the section heading by striking 
                        ``chapter 1; residual application'' and 
                        inserting ``application''; and
                            (ii) by adding at the end the following: 
                        ``This chapter applies to the extent that this 
                        chapter is not in conflict with chapter 4.''.
            (2) Table of sections.--
                    (A) Chapter 2.--The table of sections of chapter 2 
                of title 9, United States Code, is amended by striking 
                the item relating to section 208 and inserting the 
                following:

``208. Application.''.
                    (B) Chapter 3.--The table of sections of chapter 3 
                of title 9, United States Code, is amended by striking 
                the item relating to section 307 and inserting the 
                following:

``307. Application.''.
            (3) Table of chapters.--The table of chapters of title 9, 
        United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the 
        following:

``4. Arbitration of Employment, Consumer, Antitrust, and         401''.
                            Civil Rights Disputes.

SEC. 4. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Act, and the amendments made by this Act, shall take effect on 
the date of enactment of this Act and shall apply with respect to any 
dispute or claim that arises or accrues on or after such date.

SEC. 5. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.

    Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be 
construed to prohibit the use of arbitration on a voluntary basis after 
the dispute arises.

            Passed the House of Representatives September 20, 2019.

            Attest:

                                             CHERYL L. JOHNSON,

                                                                 Clerk.

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