March 1, 2022
Employers can try to avoid being sued by their employees through arbitration agreements. When an employee or job applicant signs an arbitration agreement, he gives up his right to have a court of law decide a case against their employer, being replaced by an extrajudicial arbitrator. Arbitration generally favors employers and can affect cases of labor law violations (wages, hours, sexual harassment, etc.)
As of 2022, it is illegal in California for an employer to require job applicants or employees to sign an arbitration agreement. The law was passed in 2020, so if you were asked to sign an arbitration agreement in 2020, this is against California labor laws. In this case, you have the right to sue your employer in court if this has affected your rights.
Additionally, federal law prohibits employers from requiring their employees to sign pre-dispute arbitration agreements regarding sexual harassment or sexual assault. This law applies throughout the country.
How do you get an arbitration agreement?
It is very common for arbitration agreements to be served with other documents. Often, employees are not informed that the arbitration agreement is entirely voluntary and not an employment requirement. Employers can also explicitly state that signing the agreement is required. In most cases, these are not isolated cases, and several employees in the same company are affected. If you have found yourself in such a situation, the next step would be to seek the advice of a California employment law attorney to evaluate your options.
How can it affect you?
If your wage and hour rights have been violated, you may be losing money. Additionally, if you have been the victim of discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace, or if you have been misclassified as a salaried manager or independent contractor, you must act immediately. Don’t wait to talk to a lawyer and exercise your rights.