Some North Carolina employers include an arbitration agreement in their employment policies. Such agreements are legal and enforceable if they form a contract.
But employers that include arbitration agreements in their employee handbooks may be making a mistake if they also declare that the handbook itself isn’t a contract.
Recent case: Wen-Chough worked for Duke University until he was terminated in a reduction in force. He sued, claiming he was really fired on account of his race, age or national origin.
Duke said the case should go to arbitration because when Wen-Chough acknowledged receiving the employee handbook, he had agreed that employment disputes would be handled via arbitration. However, it turned out that several versions of the acknowledgment were in circulation throughout the university.
Wen-Clough argued that the handbook he acknowledged receiving included a clause that clearly said the handbook wasn’t a contract. Duke argued the acknowledgment that Wen-Chough signed included a statement that the arbitration agreement was contractual, while the rest of the handbook provisions were not.
The court, faced with two conflicting documents, ordered a trial. A jury will decide whether the arbitration agreement was an enforceable contract. (Lin v. Brodhead, et al., No. 1:09-CV-882, MD NC, 2012)
Final note: Have an attorney review your arbitration agreement to make sure it creates a contract in North Carolina. You may have to separate the agreement from the rest of the handbook. That way, the handbook isn’t a contract, but the arbitration agreement is.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/33682/want-to-arbitrate-employment-disputes-ensure-handbook-doesnt-nix-arbitration-contract "