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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

NY Times Criticizes Confidentiality of Employment Arbitration

Today's New York Times refers to "the murky world of corporate arbitration, in which serious charges of misconduct are often settled behind closed doors." The case accuses parent of Kay Jewelers "of discriminating against women by denying them equal pay and promotional opportunities. The accusations of sexual harassment are included in statements employees made about pay and promotion disparities, and the accusers have sought to link the accusations to their wages."

University of Kansas Law Professor and arbitration expert Chris Drahozal gave me permission to add his point that "the arbitration rules in the Kay Jewelers arbitration agreement (National Arbitration and Mediation) are unusual in the U.S. In imposing a confidentiality obligation on the parties. By comparison, the AAA and JAMS rules impose a confidentiality obligation only on the arbitrator and the administrator. Under the AAA and JAMS rules, either party remains free to release any information about the arbitration (in the absence of a confidentiality order by the arbitrators) without consent of the other party."

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