When you started at your company, chances are you signed a few employment-related contracts. Increasingly, many employers have their employees sign an “arbitration agreement” or “arbitration clause” when they onboard new hires. But what does that mean? And how can that affect a future sexual harassment lawsuit in New York City? Our lawyers explain your legal rights.
When you sign an arbitration agreement, it typically means you waive your right to sue in the future in case an employment conflict arises. Instead, you agree to settle the dispute through arbitration. Situations that may require legal action include claims of sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, and/or wage and hour disputes.
What is arbitration?
A form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), arbitration is similar to a courtroom trial but is held outside of the typical judge and jury situation. An arbitrator or panel of arbitrators hears the case in a courtroom-type setting. Each side presents their arguments and evidence before the arbitrators. The panel issues either a binding or non-binding decision. A binding decision is enforceable in court and cannot be appealed.
The reason employers choose to include an arbitration clause is to protect themselves from the high costs of litigation. They protect themselves from future lawsuits. Arbitration is also typically confidential, so it can help skirt bad publicity.
Arbitration clauses and your rights
Just because you signed an arbitration agreement doesn’t mean you lose all your rights. You can still win a case against your employer if you have been subjected to harassment at work. However, if you haven’t signed one, your options for fighting the case is much greater. You can opt for filing a charge with the EEOC or filing a lawsuit in court.
Derek Smith Law Group can assist you with your sexual harassment case whether you have signed an arbitration clause or not. We are well-versed in every avenue of the law.
We handle a multitude of cases that involve sexual harassment in Manhattan and the greater New York City, Miami, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. For further information, please feel free to call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation or email at [email protected]
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