Press Releases

News from EPI Media Advisory: Denying workers their rights from their first day on the job

On Friday, April 6 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern, the Economic Policy Institute will host Alexander J.S. Colvin as he presents new research on the use of mandatory arbitration agreements and class and collective action waivers, discuss the impact of these practices—including the ways in which they affect sexual harassment litigation—and the potential outcome of National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc, currently before the Supreme Court.

Sixty million people are subject to mandatory arbitration in employment contracts, which takes away their access to the court system that protects their legal employment rights. These agreements are used by employers to require employees, as a condition of employment, to agree to arbitrate legal disputes rather than being able to go to court, barring access to the courts for all types of legal claims, including those based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Fair Labor Standards Act. In other words, when a worker is paid less than they are owed, is fired for being pregnant, or is underpaid because of their race, they cannot have their claim heard in a court of law—instead, they are locked into a process that favors the employer.

Joining Colvin in this discussion are Sharon Block of Harvard Law School, Sunu P. Chandy of the National Women’s Law Center, Ceilidh Gao of the National Employment Law Project, and Kate Hamaji of the Center for Popular Democracy.

What: An examination of the growing use of mandatory arbitration and class and collective action waivers

Who: Alexander J.S. Colvin, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Diversity, and Faculty Development, Cornell University
Sharon Block, Executive Director, Labor and Worklife Program, Harvard Law School
Sunu P. Chandy, Legal Director, National Women’s Law Center
Ceilidh Gao, Staff Attorney, National Employment Law Project
Kate Hamaji, Research Analyst, Center for Popular Democracy

Where: Economic Policy Institute
1225 I Street NW, Sixth floor
Washington, DC 20005

When: Friday, April 6 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern.

To RSVP please email

This event will be livestreamed at