DDIFO has received has received news from the Coalition of Franchisee Associations that the Arbitration Fairness Act (H.R. 1020) is in danger of having the provisions protecting franchisees removed. If omitted, the Arbitration Fairness Act will not protect franchisees from being forced to enter into binding arbitration with their franchisor.
The “franchise” provision is specifically being targeted as an increased number of franchisors are pressuring key lawmakers for its removal. The removal of the franchise provision is imminent, so it is crucial that all franchisees contact the members of the House Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law soon as possible.
ISSUE: On February 12, 2009, Rep. Henry “Hank” Johnson (D-GA-4) introduced the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2009 (H.R. 1020). Two months later, Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI) introduced companion legislation (S. 931) in the U.S. Senate.
The Arbitration Fairness Act is intended to ensure that the decision to arbitrate is made voluntarily due to the “greatly disparate economic power” between the bargaining parties. The bill aims to void all provisions involving mandatory binding arbitration in any employment, consumer, franchise, or civil rights contracts.
CFA has been informed that the provision protecting franchisees from binding arbitration in franchise disputes is in serious jeopardy. Several powerful franchisors have been influencing members of the Subcommittee to remove this specific provision. It is imperative that franchisees ACT NOW and write to the members of the House Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, urging them to pass the Arbitration Fairness Act in its CURRENT FORM.
ACTION: Contact members of the House Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law immediately and urge them to SUPPORT keeping the franchise dispute provision in the Arbitration Fairness Act (H.R. 1020).
Information regarding the subcommittee members and the specific staffers handling this issue are below. If you choose to call their offices directly, ask to speak to the staffer listed or ask for the staffer who handles the “Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law” issues.
If you choose to send a letter, please click on the staffer’s name, which will automatically generate their email address. CFA has created this letter to cut and paste into an email, however please personalize your letters to address the specific issues and concerns that you have with binding mandatory arbitration in franchise agreements.
Democrats DC Phone Staffer
Steve Cohen (D-TN) [Chairman] 202-225-3265 David Greengrass
Bill Delahunt (D-MA) 202-225-3111 Davita Walsh
Mel Watt (D-NC) 202-225-1510 Lakecia Foster
Dan Maffei (D-NY) 202-225-3701 Hasan Sarsour
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) 202-225-3072 Ryan Clough
Hank Johnson (D-GA) 202-225-1605 Elisabeth Stein
Bobby Scott (D-VA) 202-225-8351 Rashage Green
Judy Chu (D-CA) 202-225-5464 Allison Rose
Trent Franks (R-AZ) [Ranking Member] 202-225-4576 Jacki Pick
Jim Jordan (R-OH) 202-225-2676 Jared Dilley
Howard Coble (R-NC) 202-225-3065 John Mautz
Darrell Issa (R-CA) 202-225-3906 Jason Scism
J. Randy Forbes (R-VA) 202-225-6365 Will Hupman
Steve King (R-IA) 202-225-4426 Casaday Nguyen