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House votes to end forced arbitration in business disputes

WASHINGTON — The House has approved a bill to end forced arbitration clauses that prevent workers and consumers from filing lawsuits in disputes with companies over employment practices, billing or civil rights.

Supporters, mostly Democrats, said the bill would restore access to justice for millions of Americans who are locked out of the court system and forced to settle disputes against companies in a private arbitration system that often favors the company over the individual.

Opponents, mostly Republicans, said the bill would make it harder for individual workers or consumers by forcing them into lengthy, expensive court fights that may end up shutting them out of the justice system entirely.

The House approved the bill, 225-186, on Friday. It now goes to the Senate.

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