A law written by Democratic Assemblywoman Shirley Weber restricts mandatory arbitration if it requires a person to give up the right to sue if civil rights are violated.
Weber says people often sign contracts not realizing they’re waiving the right to sue in those circumstances
“So we’ve had cases where people didn’t know their civil rights were actually included in that. They thought the agreement was I’m going to pay my bills on time. I’m going to be a good citizen who lives here. I’m not going to tear up the apartment and all of a sudden you discover there’s all of this other stuff thrown in.”
Weber says arbitration can be an important tool to get conflicts resolved quickly. But she says it shouldn’t be used to erode civil liberties.
“While I believe in arbitration and I think arbitration is a very important tool to have to reduce the number of lawsuits and to settle matters quickly, one’s civil rights is very, very important and should not be embedded into an arbitration agreement that is mandatory.”