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Abstract

Mandatory arbitration agreements have become standard in the securities industry via the required Form U-4 for anyone seeking a license to buy or sell a security. However, the arbitration agreements generally submits a claimant to a panel of "white males in their sixties," and often claimants do not fare well before such panels. The article explores the claims of proponents of such agreements, such as the efficiency of resolving the dispute, which allegedly benefits both employers and employees, notions of freedom of contract, and ability to foster employment relationships which otherwise would be difficult to enact. However, the article examines the "onslaught" of criticism of such agreements as favoring employers, missing remedies which should be available under federal civil rights law, and allegations that such agreements violate intrinsic notions of justice and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because of its disparate impact on vulnerable and minority groups. Ultimately, the article argues that the mandatory arbitration agreements within the securities industry have failed to adequately comport with the current status of the nation's sexual harassment and civil rights laws by creating a disparate impact on undermining the statutory rights of women and minorities, and that the arguments in favor of such agreements are outweighed by the inequities and injustice which results from their enforcement.

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