No matter how you look at it, arbitration agreements are often in the best interests of the employer in mind. This puts the employee in a questionable position come the actual employment mediation process.
Like any prudent employee, mediation expert Littleton Alternative Dispute Resolution, Inc. suggests to look out for these red flags.
Forcing you to sign all documents on day 1
During your first day of work, your employer, through the HR (Human Resource), will require you to sign a pile of paperwork. Hidden inside is the arbitration agreement that you may have unintentionally signed.
The solution: read all the documents carefully. Ask questions if something appears or makes you uncomfortable. Don’t sign anything unless the provisions are clear to you. Sign only if you agree to the terms.
Forcing you to sign the agreement
Some employers discuss arbitration agreements openly. However, they’d want the employee to sign afterwards, or they will rescind the job offer.
The solution: don’t refuse to sign outrightly. Instead, ask your employer if you can review the agreement first before signing. Have an arbitration lawyer do the review for you. Ask for terms that would make the deal fair enough.
Giving a list of arbitrators
In some instances, employers welcome the idea of reviews and negotiations. It is something that they expect so they have a handy list of arbitrators that employees can choose from. Little did you know that a conflict of interest occurs where the arbitrator is biased in favor of the employer.
The solution: Know your rights in choosing an arbitrator wherein you can reject at least one without the need to give reasons for the rejection. Ask for a disclosure of information document.
Refusing to negotiate
Even when an employer allows the employee to choose a third-party arbitrator, he or she will not agree with your terms completely.
The solution: At least agree with the fairest agreement possible. Strive for a win-win situation.
An arbitration agreement must be approached with caution more so for the employees that may unwittingly give up their rights. Don’t be like those employees. Look for the red flags connected with this type of agreement. As always, be careful what you sign.