Employment Arbitration: Five Things You Need to Know
Many employers will use mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts to force their employees to settle certain legal matters in private arbitration. These clauses can have a significant impact on employees’ ability to assert their rights and pursue justice when they are affected by labor and employment law violations. Here are five things you need to know about employment arbitration:
Arbitration keeps you out of court
The primary purpose of employment arbitration is that it keeps you from going to court. In essence, if you have a contract with your employer that requires you to settle the matter in arbitration, you cannot normally go to court. Instead, you go before a kind of private judge known as an arbitrator, who rules on the case based on the facts and law presented.
Arbitration companies are private entities
Most arbitrators work for private companies (which are typically but not always for-profit entities), and are paid by one or both parties to the arbitration. This means that, unlike the courts, you or your employer will pay for the arbitration out of your own pocket. While this is still often less expensive than going to court, it can get fairly pricey if your contract requires you to split the costs.
Arbitration is generally less formal than regular court
While arbitrators are supposed to follow the law when it comes to making their decisions, the rules about how they conduct the matter are far more lenient than in regular court. This means they can be more lax about things like procedure, rules about admission of evidence, and so on. This can be both a benefit and a detriment, depending on how much you may want to rely on those rules to aid you.
Arbitration awards are legally binding
Despite not being a regular court, any awards granted in employment arbitration are considered to be legally binding. In effect, this means they are considered to be legally enforceable, and you can get in trouble for failing to adhere to them. In addition, they can be incredibly hard to appeal, usually requiring a finding of significant wrongdoing to undo an arbitration award.
You may still have legal options available
Even if you are forced into employment arbitration, you may still have other legal options available. However, the best way to know how to handle an arbitration is to speak to a lawyer with experience handling employment and labor law matters. They can help you go over your case, and get the compensation that you deserve.
Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer with more than 43 years’ experience handling the many aspects of employment law. His new book, “Fired!: Protect Your Rights & FIGHT BACK If You’re Terminated, Laid Off, Downsized, Restructured, Forced to Resign or Quit,” is available in hardback, and contains valuable advice on dealing with employment and labor law issues. To purchase the book, feel free to contact Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or visit the website at legalstratpub.com. To inquire about a legal matter, please feel free to contact attorney Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or email@example.com.