Text: S.610 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (02/28/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 610 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 S. 610

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


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                           February 28, 2019

 Mr. Blumenthal (for himself, Mr. Markey, Mr. Schatz, Mr. Whitehouse, 
   Mr. Durbin, Mr. Brown, Ms. Smith, Ms. Harris, Mr. Udall, Mr. Van 
    Hollen, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Heinrich, Ms. Hassan, Mr. Wyden, Mr. 
Merkley, Ms. Hirono, Mr. Casey, Mr. Kaine, Ms. Warren, Mr. Booker, Mr. 
 Reed, Ms. Cortez Masto, Mrs. Shaheen, Mr. Menendez, Mrs. Gillibrand, 
  Mrs. Murray, Ms. Duckworth, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Murphy, Mr. 
  Sanders, Ms. Rosen, and Mr. Peters) introduced the following bill; 
  which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
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''.

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 (15 U.S.C. 12(a)) 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; or
                            ``(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 a 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 1 party alleging a 
                violation described in subparagraph (A) is an 
                individual (or an authorized representative of an 
                individual), including an individual 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) 1 or more individuals, including an 
                individual who seeks certification as a class under 
                rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or a 
                comparable rule or provision of State law, 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; 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'--
                    ``(A) means a dispute between 1 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
                    ``(B) includes--
                            ``(i) 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
                            ``(ii) a dispute in which an individual 
                        seeks 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 (29 U.S.C. 216(b)), 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 ``of individuals, regardless of whether the 
                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 for 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 for 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 for 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.
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