Last time, we spoke about some of the potential issues with employer-imposed arbitration agreements and the arbitration process itself. As we noted, the arbitration process has been criticized for leaving employees at a disadvantage when disputes arise.
When confronted with the requirement to sign a contractual agreement to arbitrate workplace dispute, it is important for employees to read the agreement carefully and to understand what they are getting into. To the extent that negotiation is possible, it can help to have an experienced attorney look over the agreement in order to gain understanding of the implications of the agreement and to consider possible negotiations.
In many cases, of course, employers are not going to be willing to negotiate the terms of an arbitration agreement with a prospective employee, particularly low-level employees. Prospective employees for high-ranking positions, however, may have this ability.
In any case, it should be understood that legal issues can arise with respect to arbitration agreements and that employees who fail to be proactive in understanding and negotiating these agreements and in monitoring their employer’s compliance with the terms of the agreement, are at greater risk of being treated unjustly. Again, working with an experienced attorney can help prevent abusive arbitration agreements and the abuse of arbitration agreements.