Should I sign a abritration with my new employer?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Should I sign a abritration with my new employer?

An abritration agreement was sent to me as part of the hiring process. I was told that I had 30 days to respond and that it would not affect my employment. I just want to know what rights am I giving up if I sign and what does that exactly mean for me if I do sign?

Asked on May 12, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

1) If you sign the agreement, you are bound to its terms. Without seeing the agreement, we cannot advise as to what those are in your specific case; that said, as a general matter, when you sign an arbitration agreement, you give up the right to sue, such as for alleged wrongful termination or breach of contract (if you have one). Instead, the matter would go and be decided by binding (enforceable) arbitration. Again, that's the general rule: you need to review *this* agreement to see what it says.
2) If the agreement is to arbitrate disputes instead of suing, then based on my experience with arbitration, I would tend to recommend against signing if given a choice.  Arbitrators are often pro-employer: they are frequently attorneys who (when they are nt arbitrating) represent employers, not employees, or retired business people. Also, arbitration decisions are generally not appealable or reviewable--certainly not as easily appealed or reviewed as a court decision; if a bad decision is made, you are stuck with it. And while the theory is that they are less expensive than court cases, assuming you hire a lawyer to represent you (which you should, since the employer will have an attorney), they often cost about as much as  trial would, so you are not saving much in exchange for accepting the other disadvanatages. The fact that your employer wants you to sign should tell you that they feel arbitration would be to their advantage.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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