Basics of Arbitration Agreements
Arbitration is a type of alternative dispute resolution now commonly used between employers and employees. Voluntary arbitration agreements have been used for many years, and now forced arbitration is now more used in conflicts. Although it’s best to consult with a lawyer during an arbitration agreement, this guide has the basic information you need to get started.
What is Arbitration, Arbitration Agreement, and Forced Arbitration?
Arbitration is a method that private individuals or parties use to solve conflicts based on a set of existing rules. It has little to no interference from the court and is headed by private arbitrators of their choice. The parties will present their arguments and the arbitrators will decide based on this.
After this, the arbitration agreement comes in. This shows your consent to the decision that the arbitrators announced. It can be a separate contract or a clause part of a contract, especially in employment conflicts.
The purpose of arbitration agreements is to reduce litigation costs, keep certain issues confidential and solve conflicts quickly. It’s always important to check all the clauses in the arbitration agreement before signing it and ask your lawyer to reject or negotiate the sections that will put you at a disadvantage.
Even with the agreements, the Texas Supreme Court has recently ruled that the employer can simply just tell the employee the details of the arbitration agreement. Even if they don’t sign anything, they will be bound by the agreement as long as they decide to keep on working under the employer.
Another important term you have to consider in arbitration with your employer is forced arbitration, as this is commonly used by employers over employees. In this situation, the employee will have to agree with the arbitration contract if they want to collect employee benefits or remain employed. Employers use this to avoid arbitration with employees that still want to work with them.
During an arbitration process, it’s always better to have your legal counsel or representative with you. There’s no doubt that your employer will have theirs too and try to implement forced arbitration, so representing yourself will keep you at a disadvantage. You can contact any of our employment lawyers at the Scott Law Firm to know how you can get started.
Employers usually go for mandatory arbitration any time they have a conflict with the employees. It is also an alternative dispute resolution type where the employers and employees must always send their disputes to a previously agreed upon arbitrator.
In other words, if you agree to mandatory arbitration, you cannot take workplace-related disputes to the court. It prevents judicial attention of all conflicts in the workplace. Although you can’t go to court, you can get the court to order your employer to cooperate with the arbitration process, if they aren’t. Ask your lawyer how to go about it.
The Economic Policy Institute conducted a survey that revealed that more than 60 million employees in the American workforce cannot turn to the court for work-related conflicts. If you signed a mandatory arbitration agreement with your employer when getting the job, you have to ensure you have a legal representative you can turn to in case you have an issue with work. This is the best way to deal with the problem without the courts.
Legal Representation during Arbitration
You can either represent yourself during arbitration or get a lawyer. Your employer will most likely do the latter with the company’s legal counsel, especially if the amount at stake is large. If you represent yourself, you will be put at a disadvantage, more so if you’re not familiar with the process. Contact any of our skilled lawyers at the Scott Law Firm for legal services during an arbitration process.