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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5299
Experience:  Extensive experience representing employees and management
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RACISM & EMPLOYMENT I need to show that a contract of employment was void ab initio d

Customer Question

I need to show that a contract of employment was void ab initio due to racially biased employment procedures. I was employed by Hanmi Bank in 2003 in Koreatown in Los Angeles. They sent me two employment agreements, inadvertently, one for Koreans; one for Americans. I signed both. The one for Americans contained an arbitration clause; the one for Koreans did not. I am a white American.

I sued Hanmi in December 2011 for wrongful termination and personal injury. Hanmi has brought a motion to move the case to arbitration. I oppose this and allege the contract of employment was void from the start. I have only recently realized that I am a victim of racism. A Korean formerly at Hanmi will testify that Koreans did not have to sign arbitration agreements. However he will only do this at trial, on subpoena; he is frightened. Hence, Hanmi’s racism is sanctioned by a code of silence.

An attorney referral would be useful. Thank you for your attention.

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

Unfortunately, I cannot make any specific attorney reccomendations to you due to the rules of the site, but you can find an attorney to represent you online here:

I suggest that you hire an attorney on a contingency basis, so you only have to compensate the attorney if you receive a settlement or a verdict in your favor.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Can you not comment on the legal issue I have raised? Is the contract likely to be void ab initio due to racial employment procedures?

Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
How did you know that one was for Koreans and the other for Americans? Was one contract in Korean?

Even if that's the case, it would be difficult to prove that the contract would be voidable due to requiring certain employees to agree to arbitration and not others.

In most cases, the contract would only be considered void if it's terms were unconscionable, since the courts would only look at the contract itself and wouldn't consider the nature of other contracts that employees signed.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Presumably my case comes under the 1964 & 1991 Civil Rights Acts, so I'm really looking for a direct precedent saying the employment contract was void from the get go (such that the arbitration clause was void from the get go)


Raymond Freeman

Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
Unfortunately, there is no precedent under California law of an employment contract being invalidated due to racial discrimination.
Joseph and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


Jurisidiction is federal in this case, so is there any federal precedent in a state other than California?


Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
Not that I know of, but I'll do some research and get back to you.
Expert:  Joseph replied 5 years ago.
The only precedent I could find, is a contract being voided that specifically provides for racial discrimination.

See the link here:

There is no precedent of a contract being voided due to certain employees receiving contracts that did not provide for arbitration clauses based on racial discrimination.