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Court gives green light to arbitration; but proceed with caution

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Human Resources

Don't believe everything you're hearing about the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision supporting arbitration in employment contracts. True, it gives you more freedom to require employees to settle disputes via arbitration. But it doesn't give you carte blanche.

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court said a retail worker couldn't sue his employer over alleged workplace harassment because he had signed an agreement requiring employees to submit such claims to arbitration. (Circuit City Stores Inc. v. Adams, No. 99-1379)

The case came down to an interpretation of the Federal Arbitration Act, which requires enforcement of arbitration agreements. In this case, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had stood alone among appeals courts addressing the issue in saying that the law excluded all employment contracts.

But the Supreme Court decision slapped down the 9th Circuit mavericks and gave employers what they were looking ...(register to read more)

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