Employment Law Arbitration: Don’t be afraid!
Arbitration agreements are commonplace in employee onboarding paperwork nowadays. Often, you may not even realize an arbitration agreement is included in the paperwork you sign on your first day of work. Some employers like to use these arbitration agreements to scare employees away from trying to assert their rights. For instance, if you believe your employer is not giving you the breaks you’re entitled to under the law, knowing you can contact a lawyer and sue is a kind of protection. Many employers want you to think that if you have an arbitration agreement, you have lost all those rights.
However, that’s simply not the case! Arbitration sounds like a scary process but it’s actually just a fast-paced lawsuit with an arbitrator instead of a judge and jury. You still have the right to take discovery, take depositions, make motions, and have a trial. For the most part, the law requires that you have almost all the same statutory rights during an arbitration process that you would in a regular court of law.
So, if you think your employer has violated your rights, don’t let an arbitration agreement scare you away! Attorneys can represent you in an arbitration proceeding just like they would in a lawsuit. An arbitration agreement does not mean that you do not have the power to make sure your employer follows the law!