Washington, D.C.— Today, House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez released the following statement after the House passed the FAIR Act of 2022, a bill to prohibit the enforcement of forced arbitration clauses in consumer, labor, antitrust, and civil rights disputes:
“Today, the House took an important step to protect small businesses by passing the FAIR Act, a bill I was proud to cosponsor. Too often, large corporations use forced arbitration to stop their smaller competitors from resolving their grievances in court. Forced arbitration tilts the playing field in favor of big businesses and often imposes higher costs and lower rewards on small firms. These clauses also often ban class-action lawsuits, giving small companies fewer options when suffering under harmful corporate practices.
“For too long, the excessive use of forced arbitration has pushed many small businesses out of the American court system and into secretive arbitration forums. This practice has shielded big businesses from accountability, allowing them to dominate their smaller peers. This bill will give more entrepreneurs the ability to pursue their disputes before a judge and jury. All businesses must have access to this fundamental right, not just big companies.
“Creating an environment where American small businesses can compete is one of my top priorities as committee chairwoman. When small businesses operate on a level playing field, they can achieve great things and provide tremendous benefits for our country. I was proud to cast my vote in favor of this bill, and I will continue working to advance measures that promote a fair, competitive environment for American small businesses.”