February 2014

Forced Arbitration – The Stealth War on Women’s Rights

While working for now-defunct retailer Circuit City, Tia Holloman was subjected to two months of appalling sexual harassment that included her supervisor exposing his genitals to her, grabbing her and parading her around the store when she tried to escape his abuse — an event that was recorded by the store’s surveillance camera.

Rep. Shimkus' Draft Bill Grants Immunity to the Chemical Industry for Poisoning Americans with Dangerous Toxins

Far too often the lives of American families are dangerously impacted by chemicals in our drinking water, children’s toys and consumer products. The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) must be reformed to effectively protect the public, but Rep. John Shimkus' (R-IL) draft bill doesn't come close as it eviscerates public health safeguards, preempts state law and grants immunity to the chemical industry.

GM Recall A Knew-And-Failed-To Issue

General Motors has become the latest corporation to issue a recall for a product that poses a significant safety risk for the public. 

On Tuesday, the AP reported that GM is recalling 1.6 million small cars to fix faulty ignition switches linked to multiple fatal crashes. The recall says a heavy key ring or jarring from rough roads can cause the ignition switch to move out of the run position and shut off the engine and electrical power. That can knock out power-assisted brakes and steering and disable the front air bags. 

This safety hazard has been linked to 31 crashes and 13 front-seat deaths. 

The alarming fact is that according to reports GM knew about the problem for 10 years, but made no effort to alert the public know or issue a recall even though there were deaths. 

This is another case of "Knew-And-Failed-To."

Dropbox Drops Users' Rights Through Forced Arbitration

Did you get the late-night email from Dropbox about their updates? (Here’s the blog post in case you missed it.) If you are wondering what the innocuous language about "adding an arbitration section" really means, it's simple: it means if Dropbox lets your data slip into the wrong hands, you are out of luck and they can't be held accountable. 

Real Story: After Fire, Arbitration Denies Stephen's Efforts To Rebuild

The better part of a decade has passed since the Tea Fire in Santa Barbara County, California, burned 1,900 acres and destroyed 210 homes. But for two survivors, Stephen, and his wife, Nanci, the tragedy continues. The couple, who recently celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary, lost decades of memories when the fire destroyed their home. Then a local bank forced them into an arbitration hearing that drained Stephen’s retirement.

Real Story: Arbitration Clause Turns College Dream Into Nightmare

When it comes to forced arbitration, many don’t realize they’ve signed away their right to justice until it’s far too late. 

Debbie Brenner knows that all too well. 

After deciding to pursue a career as a surgical technician, Debbie chose Lamson College because, according to Debbie, it claimed it had an accredited program and made many promises about the demand for its students upon graduation. But as Debbie reports, when the school provided teachers with little to no experience, labs equipped with broken and outdated equipment, no externship support and no job placements or employment services, the student were outraged.

CVS To Halt Cigarette Sales

Three cheers for CVS!

On Wednesday, the drugstore made the decision to take cigarettes off the shelves of its 7,600 stores. 

According to reports, CVS is the first national chain to eliminate tobacco products in what could be a precedent-setting move if other stores make a similar decision to follow suit. 

Sales are projected to end by Oct. 1.