The job market here in the San Francisco Bay Area is quite competitive. Many employers in the area have their prospective employees sign a contract before they start working for them because of this. What you may not realize is that these employment agreements often contain arbitration clauses in them. There are pros and cons associated with signing a job contract that features an arbitration clause.
One benefit associated with there being an arbitration clause written into an employment contract is that it can save you significant time and expense from litigating your dispute.
You can likely represent yourself if you choose to do so. You may want to hire an attorney to represent you to advocate for your interests, however, since that’s always better than trying to handle things on your own.
These arbitration sessions generally don’t take place at a courthouse, but instead at the arbitrator’s private office. These alternative dispute resolution (ADR) professionals don’t maintain the same tight schedules that California judges do. You may be able to schedule sessions and work with your employer to resolve your differences more quickly because of this.
There are some downsides to arbitration. Your arbitrator, a neutral third party, is your judge and jury instead of a panel of your peers serving this role.
There’s not a discovery process that forms part of the arbitration. You, as the employee, maybe at a disadvantage in getting your hands on essential documents to argue your case.
Any decisions that you and the defendant agree to during arbitration are almost always unappealable.
Many employment contracts have arbitration clauses written into them, yet you may be able to pursue litigation if you and the defendant aren’t able to resolve your dispute. An arbitration attorney can help you prepare your California case in hopes of settling your employment contract dispute on favorable terms for you.