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The NY Times Series on Arbitration

New York Times: Neil Mullin’s Letter to the Editor:

Secrecy in Arbitration: The Suit Against Roger Ailes”

To the Editor:

Re “Ousted Anchor’s Fox Contract Could Shroud Her Case in Secrecy” (front page, July 14): Your excellent article about Roger Ailes’s efforts to silence Gretchen Carlson via an arbitration agreement raises the broader issue of secrecy in arbitration.

Millions of employees in the country have been forced to sign arbitration agreements that impose “confidentiality” upon all parties to the arbitration. Moreover, upon hiring, employees are typically required to sign corporate confidentiality agreements that also require secrecy.

As a result, arbitrations are taking place across the country in which whistle-blowers fired for opposing corporate wrongdoing, including health-endangering actions, are forced to litigate in secrecy, and victims of sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination likewise must present evidence of corporate misconduct behind closed doors.

Sadly, the Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly approved the forced arbitration of matters that involve the public welfare. Perhaps the court will revisit the issue in light of the damage done by secrecy rules.

NEIL MULLIN
Montclair, N.J.
The writer, an employment lawyer, is a member of Gretchen Carlson’s legal team.
A version of this letter appears in print on July 20, 2016, on Page A22 of the New York edition.
Read it on NYTIMES.COM »

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