Completing New Hire Paperwork? Review Arbitration Agreement(s) Before Signing

Signing the dotted line could cost you down the lineWhen starting a new job, you are naturally eager to get to work. Your employer hands you a stack of new hire paperwork and you breeze through it because you just want to hit the ground running.

Often included in this stack of new hire paperwork, however, is a document called an “arbitration agreement.” What an arbitration agreement often requires from an employee is that if a dispute arises related to the employee’s employment, the employee waives his or her right to bring a lawsuit against the employer and instead must bring this case in front of a private judge called an arbitrator. As such, the employee waives his or her right to have his or her case heard in front of a jury.

In an employment context, many arbitration agreements also include what is called a “class and collective waiver.” This means that the employee also agrees to give up his or her right to join a class or collective action case and can only proceed against an employer individually.

Arbitration agreements can come in many forms. They can be incorporated in an employee handbook (to which you acknowledge receipt). They can be included in your offer letter as a term and condition of employment. They can also be a stand-alone document.

Many employers give you the right to opt-out of the agreement. Thus, pay careful attention to whether the employer has an arbitration dispute resolution procedure or offers the option to not have to sign that to leave open the opportunity for you to proceed as part of a class action. An arbitration provision does not affect the damages you may be owed for unpaid overtime. It just affects the manner in which you may proceed to claim it.

If you have any questions about arbitration agreements or any other employment-related issues, please do not hesitate to call us directly at (800) 616-4000 for a free consultation. At Shavitz Law Group, we have represented thousands of workers regarding fair
compensation, and that includes people who are subject to arbitration provisions.


Gregg Shavitz, Shavitz Law Group, 951 Yamato Rd Ste 285, Boca Raton, FL and 830 3rd Ave, Floor 5, New York, NY.  Lawyers licensed in states including FL, NY, NJ, and TX.  The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based on advertisements alone.

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