Ellen J. Vargyas is legal counsel at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Her office was responsible for drafting the Policy Statement on Mandatory Binding Arbitration for the Commission’s consideration.
In July the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a policy statement on mandatory binding arbitration of employment discrimination disputes as a condition of employment. The position of the EEOC is that such agreements are contrary to the fundamental principles of U.S. employment-discrimination laws. The notice has precipitated a debate between proponents of both sides of the issue. The “Dispute Resolution Journal” has solicited views from both sides of this issue (beginning on page 15). Pertinent excerpts from the EEOC statement follow. Endnotes and their references within the text of the notice have been omitted for space.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its Policy Statement on Mandatory Binding Arbitration of Employment Discrimination Disputes as a Condition of Employment on July 10. Unanimously approved by the four sitting commissioners, this policy sets out the commission’s position that mandatory-arbitration systems imposed as a condition of employment are fundamentally inconsistent with the civil-rights laws.
The EEOC is the federal agency charged with the enforcement of the principal civilrights laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. These include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans With Disabilities Act.