Arbitration and Mediation
Most employees, when treated unfairly, often consider filing a lawsuit to seek justice. What many do not realize is that they cannot file a lawsuit because they signed an arbitration or mediation agreement when they started their jobs.
This seems unfair, right? Most employees sign these agreements without any understanding of what they mean. They’re often included in the stack of paperwork that gets signed when starting a new position. Most people are surprised to learn that in most cases, they are perfectly legal.
Both arbitration and mediation are forms of something called “alternative dispute resolution,” meaning, your dispute is settled in a less formal setting, outside of the courtroom. Some employers promote these agreements by telling you that if you sign the arbitration or mediation agreement, you do not have to go in front of a judge to resolve your dispute. While this may sound appealing, it carries heavy legal consequences, such as no opportunity for a jury trial. Unlike a public courtroom, these sessions are confidential, which often protects the employer from negative media about your case.
If you are presented with workplace paperwork to sign, we recommend contacting an experienced employment attorney before signing. If you have already signed the paperwork, the remedies available to you depend on the facts of your case and the documents you may have signed. The attorneys at O'Hara, Taylor, Sloan & Cassidy are well-versed in all methods of dispute resolution. Contact our office by phone or e-mail to schedule your initial consultation and learn more about how our attorneys can help.