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Arbitration Agreement Questions

What is an arbitration agreement is there an arbitration clause in an agreement? Is there an employee arbitration agreement specifically for employees? An arbitration agreement is a written contract in which two or more parties agree to settle a dispute outside of court. The arbitration agreement is ordinarily a clause in a larger contract. However, agreements such as these often bring on many questions. Read below some of the top arbitration agreement questions answered by Experts.

If you refuse to sign an arbitration agreement, and you are terminated from your job will that affect being able to get unemployment benefits?

According to Missouri law, for a person to be eligible for unemployment benefits they must either self terminate with legitimate reasons related to their place of employment or their employer or be terminated without fault of their own. If a person is fired for misconduct, then denying benefits is within the employers rights. If a person is terminated for not signing an arbitration agreement, it should not make them ineligible for unemployment benefits. If an employer does deny a person benefits, they would be able to appeal with the unemployment board to gain a hearing to determine eligibility based on case facts.

If a person signs an arbitration agreement with their employer, would they lose their rights to appeal arbitration results in a court of law?

Avoiding court is the point of arbitration, so generally does meant that the right to appeal the arbitrator’s decision. If during the arbitration, an arbitrator operates out of the scope the arbitration agreement, then an independent legal challenge can be done.

If a person was to sign an arbitration agreement upon hire without being aware that was what they were signing, is it possible to get out from under the arbitration agreement?

A person would have to allow the employer to uphold the reality of the arbitration agreement, by suing the employer. Then the employer would have to prove that the arbitration agreement was not hidden from the employee, and the employee knew that they were signing an arbitration agreement.

Should a person be concerned when an “Agreement to arbitrate employment disputes” is present in an employment agreement, and if concern is present with parts of the arbitration, what is the best way to bring these concerns to light?

There should be concern when going into where employment disputes are agreed to be arbitrated. When agreeing to arbitration, the right to a jury trial or ability to proceed in court with a lawsuit is relinquished. If a person has a claim their case will be decided by either a board of arbitrators or a single arbitrator. Before entering into an arbitration agreement, a person should ask the potential employer if employment is contingent upon signing of the arbitration agreement, and if the person is already an employee, will employment continue. There are employers that will hire a person whether or not they sign the arbitration agreement, others may not hire a person without signing the arbitration agreement. It is up to the employers, and they only way to know if employment is contingent is to ask them. At this time there is legislation in Congress called the Arbitration Fairness Act that will do away with arbitration agreements in employment disputes. Until this passes then employers still have control to make employment contingent upon signing the arbitration agreement, or terminating ongoing employment if employee will not sign an arbitration agreement.

If a company revises their employee hand book and have added an Agreement to Arbitrate, is this company able to tell its employees that they will fired if they are not willing to sign the Agreement to Arbitrate?

Employees are employed at will, unless employees are under an agreement or contract that would give those rights to continued employment or warnings. Since employees are employed at will they are able to be let go at any time with or without reason, as long as no laws are violated such as those of discrimination or retaliation. Since employment is at will, employers are able to make employment contingent on signing an arbitration agreement. That being said an arbitration agreement is not essentially bad for employees. In arbitration the decision often favors the employee, and the proceedings are not that different from a civil trial.
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