Most people signing employment documents do not know that arbitration clauses are buried in employment agreements. These clauses force employees to give up their right to go to court – even if their employer wrongfully terminates them or does not pay their wages. Arbitration clauses also can prevent people from bringing class-action lawsuits.
In arbitration, there is no impartial judge or jury. Instead, your case is decided by an arbitrator who is usually a former judge.
The problems inherent in the current arbitration system have been noticed by the House of Representatives and the Senate and there is currently a push to create a way to protect employees from arbitration clauses. The FAIR Act (Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal) legislation was passed by the House of Representatives and is being considered by the Senate.
If enacted, this legislation would render unenforceable any arbitration agreement raised in response to a dispute between one or more individuals (or their union) and a person “arising out of or related to the work relationship or prospective work relationship between them, including a dispute regarding the terms of or payment for, advertising of, recruiting for, referring of, arranging for, discipline or discharge in connection with, such work.”
However, until this act becomes law, arbitration clauses are enforceable. If you have questions about documents you have signed at the start of your employment or documents presented to you to sign by a new employer, please feel free to give us a call. We can help explain what it is you are signing and how it impacts your ability to go to court if you are wrongfully terminated or not paid your wages. Contact us today!