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Arbitration agreement need not designate whom to call

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

In order to be binding, an agreement to arbitrate employment-related complaints needs to spell out the process. Employees (and former employees who signed the agreement) should not be left in the dark about how the process works. But you don’t have to include a specific contact person.

Recent case: Barbara signed an arbitration agreement with her em­­ployer, GE Money. It said employees should initiate an arbitration request, but didn’t specify whom to call or write.

Barbara sued, arguing that the omission made the agreement invalid.

GE argued that all an employee or former employee needs to do is call HR for contact information and that Barbara never did.

The court said the agreement still was valid without a specific contact person as long as it spelled out the process in broad terms and in­­structed employees to contact the employer for more information. (Bennett v. GE Money, No. 13-1189, DC MN, 2013)

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