Have you been forced to sign away your rights? Let us know!

Have you ever been forced to sign a contract that prevents you from having your day in court if your employer commits wage theft, sexual harassment or discrimination or denies you overtime, forces you to work in unsafe working conditions or other workplace violations? If you have, you’re not alone. More than half of Maine employers require employees to sign these so-called “forced arbitration” agreements as a condition of their employment, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute.

Instead of having a public process to hold employers accountable, workers under these agreements must agree to resolve potential claims against the company in a private arbitration process that is heavily tilted in favor of the employer. Forced arbitration agreements are designed to suppress claims, suppress workers from acting as a class and weaken overall enforcement of workers' rights.

In January, the Maine Legislature will take up LD 1693, sponsored by Senator Troy Jackson, which would reign in this abusive practice by allowing workers to bring enforcement actions of employment laws on behalf of the state against these corporate lawbreakers. This is going to be a fight and we need all the support we can get, so if you or someone you know has been forced to sign one of these forced arbitration agreements please email me at [email protected].