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employees beware before you sign

Companies are making it much harder for workers to seek recourse against them for discriminating practices, hostile work environments and unpaid wage claims.  At the time of hire, employers have a stack of documents for you to complete and sign; one of which has a clause in it; preventing you from having your day in court should you require legal action against them.

  Instead, you are required to go through a company elected arbitration; where the odds of a successful outcome in your legal matter is statistically far less than if you had taken your case to a jury of your peers.  Businesses claim it’s much more inexpensive and efficient.  But some lawyers label arbitrators “corporate courts” because the arbitrator is hired by the employer and the employer statistically wins much more in arbitration than they do in court.

  Moreover, arbitration requires you to present your case similar to how you present your case in court.  So the expense is just as high if not higher.  Arbitrators charge several hundreds of dollars per hour and oftentimes require a panel of arbitrators; not just one.  This expense alone can be several thousands of dollars; unlike court; where the typical filing fee with service is approximately $500.00.

  Other key provisions to look for before signing an agreement concerns where your case is to be heard (i.e. you live in Florida; but your dispute is to be heard in North Dakota) and what state law applies.

  The key is to know what rights you are giving up when you sign an agreement.  This concerns not only employment agreements; but all contracts you enter into.  You may not have leverage for the corporation to change its policy; but at least it gives you some information in understanding the company you are going to be working for or may be doing business with.

  So my advice to you, READ BEFORE YOU SIGN!

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