Brian Flores: Forced arbitration allows systemic discrimination to continue

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Former Dolphins coach Brian Flores is challenging not just the NFL’s employment practices but also the broader practices by many employers to force certain employment disputes to private arbitration.

“With forced arbitration my case will be litigated behind closed doors, confidentially and without transparency, essentially done in secrecy,” Flores told the American Association for Justice on Monday, via a press release from the group. “With forced arbitration, there won’t be a jury of my peers who will hear my claims, which is one of the most important and fundamental rights we have in this country.”

It’s not just about the claims Flores has made. Forced arbitration affects many American employees, and it allows discriminatory practices to continue by not properly smoking them out in an open court proceeding.

“Forced arbitration is the crux of why all forms of discrimination are so prevalent in our country — systemic racism and discrimination,” Flores said. “So there’s literally a system in place that uses forced arbitration, which essentially allows for discrimination to continue. . . . Forced arbitration allows an employer to hide behind secret and confidential proceedings. The employer avoids scrutiny and publicity accountability. With this system in place, then how can we believe real justice and real change can occur?”

Flores spoke in support of legislation that would prevent the mandatory arbitration of race discrimination claims. Earlier this year, Congress passed a law prohibiting forced discrimination of sexual assault and sexual harassment claims.

“If legislation was passed to ban forced arbitration for sexual assault and sexual harassment, why wouldn’t we do the same for race discrimination claims?” Flores said. “[Forced arbitration] silences them and often times the employees throw their hands up because they know it’s a rigged system where they can’t truly get justice. I’ve seen it first hand these past few months. Coaches and executives who have pretty much thrown their hands up because they figured they are going to be silenced anyway. . . . I don’t want my kids to watch football and think that they just have to be a player. That they can’t be a head coach, that they can’t be an executive, that they can’t be an owner.”

Kudos to Flores for taking up this fight. Most employers who compel arbitration utilize independent arbitrators. The NFL uses a process over which the Commissioner or his designee presides. It’s a bad system, and the NFL benefits from the fact that not enough fans understand the inherent corruption of letting the Wile E. Coyote adjudicate the grievances of the Road Runner.

It’s grossly unfair. It’s a kangaroo court. More in the media need to be willing to say it, so more fans will realize how messed up the NFL’s approach to fairness and justice is.

10 responses to “Brian Flores: Forced arbitration allows systemic discrimination to continue

  1. DC is busy doing other stuff.

    Sadly none of it beneficial to the American people.

    NFL politics are the last thing I want my Federal govt digging their fingers into.

    Meanwhile, Miami has moved forward with their new HC and FA signings are afoot.

  2. If you sign a contract that has a arbitration clause you are bound to the contract parameters….it’s that simple. A Head Coach can negotiate any kind of contract provision they choose. Flores did not have to sign his contract as was, yet he did. Miami likely would have demanded it. At that point Flores had a choice to make sign it or look elsewhere…..This forced idea is complete nonsense.

  3. We have all worked for companies and bosses who arent fair. Life isnt fair. The difference is we dont kick and whine and beat a drum to take someone elses hard earned money because we feel sorry for ourselves. Move on Flores. You look soft.

  4. I’m saying this without bias or sarcasm…. If Brian Flores believes a contract he signed should be ignored based on his personal wants and needs.. he should be will to admit openly he’s in breach of said contract and return 100% of all money paid to him during its duration. If not, he’s a hypocrite……. With bias? What on earth makes him think he’s above agreements he personal signed? Because he was fired? If he was doing this for merit he would have quit the job in 2019 and sue for breach of contract back then. The man who fired him is the same race as him.. he lost the job because of an old man’s ego, not the color of his skin.

  5. So if he was so concerned about his future rights, Why did he sign it? Whats in his current contract?

  6. I don’t think the right idea is to prohibit arbitration clauses. Instead, make arbitration work the way it was originally intended. If both sides have to agree on the arbitrator, that would make a huge difference. No more joke of a process like you have in the NFL, which we’ve all seen with the way they handle disciplinary cases. I would also consider barring nondisclosure agreements in contracts. They’re also weaponized in the NFL and other industries to keep bad behavior under wraps.

    For those claiming that coaches are stuck with forced arbitration because they signed the contract: don’t be naïve. If you want to coach, that’s your only option. In law, that’s called a contract of adhesion, and it’s legitimate to challenge them after the fact.

  7. I’m part of minority group and still believe the way this guy victimizes himself is just unacceptable, he may be right about what happened to him but still, the way he portrays everything without taking any responsibility is just absurd.

  8. I agree with Florio and Flores for once. Contractual arbitration is employment at gun point. Sign it or no job. Whether you work at McDonalds or a Fortune 500 its BS. Corporations claiming to be “people” and using their power to flex and disorganize unionization and the people is a text book play out of “the art of war”. It really is a shield of deception and misdirection, a kangaroo court with a rubber stamp of discrimination. Its obvious and undeniable. The only legitimate argument for arbitration is to speed up the process of lengthy and expensive litigation against frivolous lawsuits which are a pandemic in America but it does snuff out legitimate grievances as well. I hope he takes a piece of that wall down with him even if he is just sour about getting fired and smeared afterwards.

  9. It most jobs it called EMPLOYEMENT AT WILL. No one can make you work for a company …just remember we all have choices.

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