Brian Flores will speak on Monday against forced arbitration of race discrimination cases

Houston Texans v Miami Dolphins
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By suing the NFL for systemic racial discrimination in the hiring, compensation, and retention of Black head coaches, Brian Flores has taken on a cause that sweeps well beyond his own personal interests, potentially sacrificing his future as a head coach in the process. That cause has now expanded to an even broader effort, one that stretches well beyond the NFL.

Major American companies have become smitten in recent decades with mandatory arbitration of employment disputes. It removes such cases from open court, and it keeps a jury of average citizens from having the obligation/opportunity to hold big businesses accountable.

The NFL routinely utilizes arbitration clauses, in order to avoid that external accountability. Unlike most employers, which will at least permit arbitration to be handled by an independent process, the NFL insists on a fully-rigged system that has the Commissioner or his representative handle claims made against the NFL or its teams. It’s a ridiculously obvious and troubling conflict of interest, given that the Commissioner is hired, paid, and retained by the 32 teams — and that the Commissioner’s representative is hired, paid, and retained by the Commissioner.

The Dolphins already have tried to invoke the private, secret arbitration process in connection with the claims Flores has made against the team. Flores and his lawyers are pushing back. Inevitably, the other parties sued by Flores (NFL, Giants, Broncos, for now) will try to shoehorn his claims against them into arbitration, too. The court system will decide whether and to what extent Flores must submit his claims to arbitration.

Flores is broadening his attack on the NFL’s practices. On Monday, he’ll speak to the American Association of Justice regarding the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act, which will soon be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill, if passed, will prevent mandatory arbitration of racial discrimination claims.

Last month, the House and Senate passed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021. The bill became law earlier this month. It bans companies from forcing victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault to pursue justice through arbitrations.

Flores will speak about the issue on Monday at 3:00 p.m. ET, with Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Dean Alexander Colvin, an expert on mandatory arbitration in racial discrimination cases.

The practice of forced arbitration has made it much harder for employees of American businesses to secure justice, which in turn makes it much easier for large companies to avoid accountability for misconduct. The NFL is among the biggest offenders, coupling mandatory arbitration with a kangaroo court that makes it even more difficult for employees whose rights have been violated to secure justice.

24 responses to “Brian Flores will speak on Monday against forced arbitration of race discrimination cases

  1. Before people start opining that Flores should not complain because he agreed to arbitration in his contract, they need to understand that he had no choice regarding the arbitration clause. The NFL requires that these clauses be included included in coach’s contracts. It is either accept the arbitration provision or don’t coach, one or the other. There is no other alternative.

  2. These piecemeal carve outs from the Federal Arbitration Act are ridiculous. First sexual harassment then racial discrimination. And then at some point get around to disability and religious discrimination? Pass an exemption for all claims by workers and consumers and make it preempt state law. But this won’t happen because corporations own our politicians.

  3. Arbitration does have a legitimate place in the legal process, for the simple reason that it can accomplish things that the court system can’t. Each side privately makes it case to the arbitrator, the arbitrator assesses the strength of the cases and pushes the parties to a realistic compromise.

    Anyway, this is how it’s supposed to work and how it mostly does work when there is a process that ensures the appointment of a truly independent arbitrator. As usual, the NFL isn’t satisfied with having a fair process and insists on stacking the deck. This is how you end up with the ludicrous and very often completely unfair way the NFL handles player discipline. I had hoped that in the Flores case, the way Goodell backpedaled so quickly about the issue of minority hiring in coaching would mean that the League at least saw that it would be a really bad look to force the case into the NFL’s stacked-deck arbitration system. Boy, was I naïve. The League doesn’t care how bad it looks if they get their way. They will stick with this system and use it on every inconvenient case until they are forced to change by legislation.

  4. The same people who think that Flores should be required to arbitrate his claims believe that Gruden should not have to. Wonder why that is?

  5. “The NFL routinely utilizes arbitration clauses, in order to avoid that external accountability. Unlike most employers, which will at least permit arbitration to be handled by an independent process, the NFL insists on a fully-rigged system that has the Commissioner or his representative handle claims made against the NFL or its teams. It’s a ridiculously obvious and troubling conflict of interest, given that the Commissioner is hired, paid, and retained by the 32 teams — and that the Commissioner’s representative is hired, paid, and retained by the Commissioner”.
    In most labor contracts there is an arbitration clause. The Arbitrator is picked jointly by Labor and Management. It is up to each side to pick someone they think is fair by reading previous decisions by the Arbitrator. If the Arbitrator is seen as pro-management or pro-union they are out of business quickly. Arbitration moves complaints along quickly and they are final without endless appeals. The Arbitrator looks at the facts of the case such as the timeline of the hiring of Brian Daboll by the Giants and make a decision. There are no appeals. The Arbitrator system keeps individuals and lawyers from bringing frivolous suits because the loser pays. If you don’t have a good case you try to move it to the court system. Courts don’t want to open that door as they would be flooded with nonsense cases from every industry.

  6. gibson45 says:
    March 12, 2022 at 9:35 am
    The same people who think that Flores should be required to arbitrate his claims believe that Gruden should not have to. Wonder why that is?

    the same people that think miami fired flores because he is black cannot explain how lovie smith being named head coach (better record in regular and playoofs) somehow makes denver a racist organization as well. wonder how that is?

  7. Brian Flores has taken on a cause that sweeps well beyond his own personal interests, potentially sacrificing his future as a head coach in the process.

    Stunning and bold !
    *eye roll*

  8. gibson45 says:
    March 12, 2022 at 8:54 am
    Before people start opining that Flores should not complain because he agreed to arbitration in his contract, they need to understand that he had no choice regarding the arbitration clause. The NFL requires that these clauses be included included in coach’s contracts. It is either accept the arbitration provision or don’t coach, one or the other. There is no other alternative.

    1029Rate This
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    The NFL does not “require” arbitration in all contracts.

    Arbitration is not some nefarious discrimination plot.

    Literally every business with even a half-wit attorney includes arbitration language in every contract. Every HOA in the country requires arbitration in order to buy a home in the neighborhood and “there is no other alternative”!

    It’s standard business practice.

  9. kburke1111 says:
    March 12, 2022 at 9:51 am
    gibson45 says:
    March 12, 2022 at 9:35 am
    The same people who think that Flores should be required to arbitrate his claims believe that Gruden should not have to. Wonder why that is?

    the same people that think miami fired flores because he is black cannot explain how lovie smith being named head coach (better record in regular and playoofs) somehow makes denver a racist organization as well. wonder how that is?
    __________

    Nathaniel Hackett is going to be surprised to find out that his name has been changed to Lovie Smith.

  10. If the alleged discrimination occurred when he wasn’t under contract they can’t force him into arbitration. Unless the league thinks they have the authority to do whatever they want. Biggest issue is the world won’t know what happens behind those closed doors.

  11. boozygoose says:
    March 12, 2022 at 9:55 am
    The NFL does not “require” arbitration in all contracts.

    Arbitration is not some nefarious discrimination plot.

    Literally every business with even a half-wit attorney includes arbitration language in every contract. Every HOA in the country requires arbitration in order to buy a home in the neighborhood and “there is no other alternative”!

    It’s standard business practice.
    ____________

    Actually the NFL does require arbitration clauses in coach’s contracts. Such a provision is also included in the NFL’s bylaws.

    So you think that it is fair to be required to capitulate to arbitration in order to purchase a home. Good luck when you try to recover for shoddy construction, resolve a property line dispute, or prevent your neighbor from violating the HOA regulations when that neighbor is a member of the board.

  12. When you have a mandatory quota of minorities that must be interviewed “The Rooney Rule” but the Quota has no language that makes it an even process, the rule is making sham interviews a must. When a team like Dallas goes on to hire Sean Payton in the future as HC, every other interview will be a sham interview regardless of skin color of the other candidates. The rule creates an opportunity for minorities and nothing else, perhaps maybe sway the mind of the Owner or GM from a favorite. It’s a fair process not an even one…this is lost on most as fair and even are very different things and saying it’s Racial Discrimination when they do not get the job is a joke that amounts to a sham Law Suit. Flores had interviews and failed to get the job in an open competition for that job or he failed to sway an Owner/GM from hiring a favorite for the job in a situation that already had a pre conceived out come it’s fair not even. If it is ruled arbitration is not allowed for Racial Discrimination cases in the NFL then the person filing the case in open court should have to be on the hook financially for the Defendants legal fees when they fail to prove there case…. This will deter nonsense Law Suits.

  13. Wah, Wah, Wah , Crybaby Flores, it is time to move on. Put your crying towel away and concentrate on making the Steeler D great again.

  14. gibson45 says:
    March 12, 2022 at 8:54 am
    Before people start opining that Flores should not complain because he agreed to arbitration in his contract, they need to understand that he had no choice regarding the arbitration clause. The NFL requires that these clauses be included included in coach’s contracts. It is either accept the arbitration provision or don’t coach, one or the other. There is no other alternative.
    ======================================

    If any coach doesn’t agree with the arbitration then they shouldn’t sign the contract, SIMPLE AS THAT!

    When a company offers me a contract that includes a “can not compete” clause which says I can’t take a job in my field of profession I refuse to sign it and walk out the door!
    There’s no way I’m giving up my right to have a job in my field of choice just to work for a company, NO WAY!

    That would mean if they fired me or I wanted to quit I’d have to take a job in a different field where I’d make 1/3 or less of what I do now!

    BTW if anyone ever had a case against an NFL team for unlawful termination it was Marty Schottenheimer who took the Chargers to a 14-2 record ONLY to be fired, if anyone ever had a case against an NFL team it was Marty!

  15. gibson45 says:
    March 12, 2022 at 9:35 am
    The same people who think that Flores should be required to arbitrate his claims believe that Gruden should not have to. Wonder why that is?
    —————————————————————————————–
    Maybe because Gruden’s ‘offenses’ occurred while he was not an NFL employee and Flores’ complaints involve issues from when he was employed by an NFL team.

  16. One thing that can always be counted on. There’s never a shortage of racists in the peanut gallery willing to reveal themselves.

  17. Doesnt he have a new job to focus on now? Just give it up dude its over. Focus on the Steelers D

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