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Use arbitration agreement to limit time to sue

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

If you use a mandatory arbitration agreement, you may be able to set a relatively short deadline for employees to bring discrimination claims.

Recent case: Luis Turcios's employment agreement with Pearson Dental Supplies had a mandatory arbitration clause for employment-related claims. It required him to file any claims within one year from the date a dispute arose or he first became aware of possible discrimination—less time than is available under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

Turcios sued his employer for age discrimination. The court held that the limitation period did not unreasonably restrict Turcios's ability to vindicate his rights under the FEHA.

The court said the agreement wasn't automatically invalid just because the FEHA gives employees longer to sue. It said the contract was binding. (Pearson Dental Supplies, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, No. B206740, California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, 2008)

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