If you work in the United States, there is a good chance you have signed an arbitration agreement that prohibits you from suing your boss in court for almost any reason. According to the Economic Policy Institute, about 60 million Americans, are bound by the agreements, including bakers, bankers, engineers, exterminators, nurses, plumbers, roofers, teachers, and truckers.

The process is opaque and very few people, besides those who have experienced it, understand it.

The major differences between this system and the courtroom are why some attorneys adore arbitration. Steven Suflas, a veteran lawyer with financial clients, sees it as a way to stay away from the regular folk who decide big cases. "Who sits on juries, managers or employees?" he asks rhetorically. "Employees, all right. Tongue in cheek, every employee hates their boss. It's human nature." An arbitrator, on the other hand, "tends to be less emotional," he says.

Another plus, in Suflas' eyes, is secrecy. The public doesn't need to find out about "juvenile behavior at the office holiday party" or every "bad boy who's behaved badly," he says. "Does the shining of the light on that improve things? No."

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