Don’t stack the deck in arbitration — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Daniel Murray, a full-time union organizer, signed a mandatory arbitration agreement as a condition of employment. The pact said arbitrators would be chosen from a list provided by his employer and that arbitrators wouldn't have the authority to "change or diminish any power, right or authority granted by the (employer)." In other words, if the decision of the arbitrator altered management's authority, it could be ignored.

When Murray was fired, he sued, alleging race discrimination. An appeals court allowed the case to go to court despite an arbitration agreement. Reason: If the arbitration process gives employers full control over the choice and decisions of the arbitrators, it's a bogus agreement. The court called this stacking of the deck "unconscionable." (Murray v. United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, 4th Cir., No. 01-1602, 2002)

Although last year's big Supreme Court decision in Circuit Cit...(register to read more)

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