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Legality of arbitration depends where you are

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Before you require employees to arbitrate claims against you, find out whether it will stand up in court.

A federal court in California recently barred a law firm from requiring employees to arbitrate Title VII claims. The case started when a legal secretary refused to sign an offer letter with an arbitration clause and the firm withdrew its offer of employment.

The court relied on a decision from the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that bars employers from compelling individuals to waive their rights under Title VII but lets them voluntarily agree to arbitrate. (EEOC v. Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps, C.D. No. CV 00-01322, Cal., 2000)

But the district court notes that decision may be overturned by the full 9th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court. Four other circuit courts have said the 1991 Civil Rights Act does not bar mandatory arbitration.

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