Arbitration Agreements Must Be Understood By Employees

Feb 27, 2019   Print PDF

Related Practice: Employment

Stokes Lawrence Velikanje Moore & Shore Shareholder Sarah Wixson was recently quoted in an article in the Capital Press that covered a presentation she made to the Washington Growers League. During the presentation on handling employee grievances, Sarah addressed the issue of arbitration agreements. She explained that to be binding, arbitration agreements must be understood by the employees who sign them. Sarah Wixson

“Employees have to understand what they are signing and such agreements can lead to arbitrations for each individual employee, which could be more costly to an employer than a class-action lawsuit,” she was quoted as saying.

She provided the following tips for employers in addressing employees grievances:

  • Uniform, consistent treatment of employees is important. Supervisors should stay calm to prevent escalating a situation and remember that if they over react, it could be caught on a smart phone video.
  • Job descriptions and expectations should be clear, handbooks should be updated and any grievances should be documented and addressed.
  • Having bilingual supervisors is helpful for removing any communication barriers.
  • Harassment can be overt or more subtle, but pervasive. Employers should look to diffuse small things before they become big.
Wages, rest breaks, safety and health issues, restrooms, and supervisor behavior are the most common areas of grievances.

“Clear communications and treating employees well go a long way to preventing labor disputes,” Sarah noted.

If you have questions about arbitration agreements or other employment related topics, contact a member of the Stokes Lawrence Employment group.