Your excitement at getting a new job can lead you to make decisions you might later regret or sign things you do not understand. One of these documents is an arbitration agreement.
Most organizations nowadays require their employees to sign this agreement with the increased rate of employment disputes. The deal requires your disagreement with an employer — should it arise — to be solved through arbitration.
This process uses a neutral third party, often a retired judge or attorney for the resolution of your disputes. Most people assume that alternative dispute resolution in Colorado only works for divorce mediation and will thus be apprehensive about an arbitration agreement.
Arbitration, however, also works for employment disputes and guarantees you enjoy a cordial relationship with your employer even after a settlement is reached.
This does not in any way mean you should simply trust that your employee has your interests at heart and sign the agreement with no input from an attorney. The following are some of the elements of your agreement you can negotiate with your employer.
Choice of an Arbitrator
The decision of the arbitrator in case of disputes with your employer cannot be appealed. Given this immense power your arbitrator will have, it is essential to have an equal say in the choice of an arbitrator.
You and your employer are allowed to reject an arbitrator without giving a reason for the decision. With your wishes met in the selection of an arbitrator, you are guaranteed that the decision they make will be fair.
Disclosure of Information
The arbitrator chosen should disclose their personal and business interests to assure you of no vested interests that might cause them to be biased. If for instance, the arbitrator owns shares in your company, they might be biased toward the employer. You and your boss have every right to reject an arbitrator with conflicting interests should you feel that this will cause a bias in any way.
Most employers use their arbitration agreement to minimize their costs should anything happen to an employee that will require compensation. The remedies you stand to receive for various issues in your arbitration agreement should be similar to what you would have received if you were to go to court.
The agreement should, for instance, not bar you from getting emotional or punitive damages if they apply in a work-related injury case.
Rights to an Attorney
Some agreements will need you to forego your rights of legal representation if a dispute arises. If you were to go to court, you would retain your right to an attorney.
As such, you should also have the same for your arbitration. Do not give up this right since it might see you end up with an adverse ruling in arbitration.
Most workers have found themselves at a significant disadvantage when in workplace disagreements. This is because they would not want to dispute anything their employer wants to be signed since they fear losing their jobs.
You should, however, ensure that the above clauses on an arbitration agreement also work for you. This guarantees your peace of mind and an amicable relationship with your employer.