What You Need to Know About Arbitration Agreements

Employment Law

What You Need to Know About Arbitration Agreements

As an employee, you might find a time when you need to hold your employer legally accountable. On-the-job injuries, discrimination, and other harmful situations often demand you take the case to court for an acceptable resolution. Unfortunately, if you previously signed an arbitration agreement, your ability to resolve future issues through the court system could be compromised. Are you wondering just what that might mean for you? Here’s a look at what you need to know about arbitration agreements.

What is an Arbitration Agreement?

An arbitration agreement is a contract clause requiring you to settle all disputes out of court. So, you’ll have to go through a private arbitration process instead of presenting your case in front of a judge.

Your inability to escalate the case beyond that stage can seriously impact your ability to get the desired results. You may then have to settle for far less than you deserve, feeling like you lost the case altogether.

Signing Waives Your Employee Rights

When you sign an employment contract with an arbitration agreement, you’re effectively signing away your employee rights. You may not even realize you agree to such a thing, either. Employers may hide the agreement within stacks of paperwork either on purpose or as a matter of course.

You may then overlook the agreement as you focus on studying the employment handbook, safety guidelines, and other pieces of paperwork. Once you put your signature on the document, however, it doesn’t matter whether you saw it or not.

Therefore, it’s imperative to read all paperwork before signing anything. Better yet, have the documents looked over by a lawyer to ensure you’re not missing anything.

Cons of Private Arbitration Outweigh the Pros

Although private arbitration can save you time and money in seeking a resolution, it’s often to the great benefit of the employer. As far as employees go, the cons typically outweigh the pros, making the agreement well worth actively avoiding.

In most cases, you will likely need to walk away from the job to avoid agreeing to private arbitration. Sometimes, you may get your employer to agree to alter the contract before you sign it. If not, you should be ready to find a different employment opportunity unless you want to take on the risks of signing away your rights.

Find Out If You Inadvertently Signed an Arbitration Agreement

Are you unsure if you signed an arbitration agreement upon starting your new job? In California, it’s easy to find out if you did. All you need to do is ask for your employee file. Under state law, your employer must provide the file upon request. You can then review the file to see if you have a signed arbitration agreement on the books.

If you’d like more information about arbitration agreements, you need to reach out to our team at Knoll Law Group. You can dial 818-610-0955 to reach our team and set up a free consultation. At that meeting, we’ll be happy to learn about your concerns and help you navigate the oft-complex world of employment law.

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