Arbitration Agreements In Employment Contracts
We see it every day – a new employee signs a packet of information without really reading it. Why wouldn’t they? Employees signing these packets often say to themselves: I need the job and I don’t want to lose it if I don’t sign. Of course, this employment relationship is going to work out – I will work here until I am ready to retire. Everyone is so friendly!! They will never do anything against my interest. Besides, anything can be undone later if the relationship falls apart.
These attitudes can lead to employees signing agreements that do not protect their interests and can lead to disastrous consequences.
Today, the United States Supreme Court handed down an opinion that holds that arbitration provisions in employment agreements are enforceable even if they strip the employee from his/her right to file their wage and hour claims as a collective or class action. Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Ernst & Young, LLP v. Morris and National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil, U.S.A., Nos. 16-285, 16-300, 16-307, 584 U.S. ____ (2018). This decision is important because it is from the highest court in the land and directly relates to employment agreements like the ones we often see.
There can be consequences to signing employment agreements that the employee does not foresee. The employees that signed the agreements in the Epic Systems case probably never realized that they were signing away their rights to bring wage and hour claims on behalf of themselves and other employees similarly situated.
As such, it is always important to have any agreements presented for your signature reviewed by an experienced employment attorney BEFORE you sign on the line. Please call The Fish Law Firm today to have any agreement reviewed by an attorney so that you can make an informed choice about signing.