As is his practice, Larson Frisby of the ABA Governmental Affairs Office has prepared his annual Federal Legislative Update, reporting on the status of federal ADR legislation and other related proposals and measures of interest to practitioners and public policy followers.
Most prominent on the list is the CFPB’s final rule regulating the use of financial consumer pre-dispute arbitration agreements and requiring reporting of data concerning arbitrations that are held pursuant to such agreements. The House has approved, and the Senate has introduced, resolutions to prevent the rule’s taking effect. Other challenges from congressional and industry groups are also underway. The SEC has taken no action with respect to securities arbitration, though it was authorized to do so in the Dodd-Frank Act.
The Department of Health and Human Service’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has published a proposed rule revising its previously published final rule, the effect of the modification being to remove the prior rule’s ban on pre-dispute arbitration agreements in nursing home contracts.
Other developments include the reversal of rules prohibiting federal contractors from requiring arbitration of sexual assault and harassment claims; proposed legislation to make enforcement of arbitration agreements more difficult for service members with respect to employment rights; and the perennial Arbitration Fairness Act, introduced each Congress by Senator Franken, rendering unenforceable all pre-dispute arbitration agreements.