Employment Law

Employment law questions? Ask an employment lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer, Get an Answer ASAP!

Arbitration Agreements And Employment Law

Can a lawsuit be filed even if an arbitration agreement has been signed? Or, do you need to know what an arbitration agreement is? An arbitration agreement is where parties agree to settle any dispute outside of court. If you have questions regarding your legal rights under an arbitration agreement or in regards to employment, an online legal Expert can assist you.

Read below where Experts have answered these questions and more.

Can a person file a lawsuit even though he or she signed an arbitration agreement?

A person can arbitrate, sue if the other side agrees to waive arbitration, or does not raise arbitration as a defense.

How can an individual get out of an arbitration agreement?

Case Details: When individual was first hired by employer, he signed an arbitration agreement without knowing what he was signing.

An individual would have to sue the employer, allow the employer to defend on the existence of the arbitration agreement, and then try to prove that the arbitration agreement was not properly disclosed of to the individual, and therefore he did not know what he was agreeing to.

Is an arbitration agreement, which contains a section that characterizes it as a voluntary agreement, enforceable?

Case Details: There is a memorandum to the agreement that states the signature to the arbitration agreement is a condition of continued employment with the employer.

Whether or not the arbitration agreement could be enforced is questionable. As the employer is basically demanding the employee sign or be fired, it does not appear to be voluntary. The document should be reviewed by a local labor lawyer. An employer cannot make an individual give up his or her legal rights to keep a job. The individual has a legal right to have such disputes settled in court before a jury. For an employer to demand that an individual give up that right without any additional consideration is questionable and likely illegal.

Can an employer force an employee to sign an arbitration agreement?

An employer cannot force an employee to sign an arbitration agreement. The choice is always up to the employee, but if the employee fails to sign, the employer can choose to terminate his or her employment. Employees are “at-will” which means that an employee may be terminated at any time without a cause. A person not signing the agreement allows the employer to simply claim that signing the agreement was a condition of employment.

Can a person contest a binding arbitration agreement in federal court?

If an individual has a written agreement that any dispute that arises will be submitted to and decided by binding arbitration, then it cannot be appealed.

Does a binding arbitration agreement, which is signed as part of employment hiring paperwork, prevent an individual from filing an independent EEOC FMLA action?

A mandatory arbitration agreement does not prevent an employee from filing an EEOC claim under EEOC v. Waffle House. The EEOC has an independent interest in enforcing federal employment laws and cannot be bound by the agreement entered into between the employer and employee.

Should an individual sign an arbitration agreement and waiver of class/collective actions?

Case Details: There is a current class action law suit against the company. Individual has been told that if not signed he or she will be terminated. Individual lives in an “at-will” state.

An employer can request that an employee sign such forms as a prerequisite of employment. However, to make such waivers binding, the employer must provide the individual with some sort of compensation, meaning money or other benefits. A unilateral signing away rights is not sufficient for the contract to be deemed binding. If an employer will not pay an individual for his or her signature, the agreement can likely be contested in court. However, since the individual would be an “at-will” employee, the employer could terminate his or her employment at any time without cause, but the employer cannot use an individual’s refusal to sign as grounds for a willful termination for misconduct, but the employer can terminate without cause (in essence, terminate the agreement to have individual work for them, but without grounds). In that instance, the individual would be able to file for unemployment benefits and have the employer cover the unemployment, but do have the right to terminate.

If you have been a party to an arbitration agreement you may many have questions. An online legal Expert can give you the guidance you need and answer all your questions. Verified legal Experts are available day or night at your convenience.

Please type your question in the field below

7 verified Employment Lawyers are online now

Employment Lawyers on JustAnswer are verified through an extensive 8-step process including screening of licenses, certifications, education and/or employment. Learn more

Allen M., Esq.

Employment Lawyer

Juris Doctor, Cum Laude

13492 positive reviews


Doctoral Degree

12833 positive reviews


Doctoral Degree

12562 positive reviews
See all Employment Lawyers
JustAnswer in the news:
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.