Does Your Employer Have The Right To Stop You From Filing A Lawsuit Against Them?
Access to the courts is a basic right in the United States. People have the right to file civil lawsuits for any financial losses or other damages that were caused by the intentional or negligent acts of others , regardless of whether either party is a U.S. citizen. Defendants in criminal cases have the right to representation by professional lawyers, including but not limited to public defenders, regardless of the immigration status of the defendant. For the most part, companies have the same rights as individuals to engage in litigation and to file for bankruptcy protection. Despite this, numerous people in California and other states have signed away their right to sue certain parties about certain matters. Specifically, they have signed arbitration agreements, which are legally binding promises that the parties to the agreement will resolve their disputes outside of court with an arbitrator instead of filing lawsuits in court. Whether arbitration agreements promote or prevent justice is a matter of debate, and California legislators are currently considering a bill banning mandatory arbitration agreements that govern employment disputes. If you have an employment dispute, contact a .
AB 51 and the Controversy Over Arbitration Agreements in California
Many employers ask employees to sign mandatory arbitration agreements or include arbitration clauses in employment contracts, and many employees believe, correctly or incorrectly, that they have no choice but to sign. If an employee tries to sue an employer after signing such an agreement, the court may order the case be submitted to arbitration if the court determines that the arbitration agreement is valid. California lawmakers are currently debating Assembly Bill 51, which would ban mandatory arbitration for employment disputes.
Meanwhile, a lawsuit is pending between a group of former employees and the San Diego car dealership where they worked. When the employees were hired, the employer gave them a stack of papers to sign; one of the pages in this onboarding packet was an arbitration agreement. The employees signed, but when disputes later arose between the employees and the employer, the employees tried to sue. The court ruled then in favor of the employer because the employees had signed the arbitration agreement. According to the court’s decision, the fact that the employees signed with pen and paper strengthens the argument for enforcing the arbitration agreements. It is possible to click an electronic signature box by accident and without realizing it, but it is not as likely to accidentally sign one’s name in ink on a piece of paper, thus making the arbitration agreement easier to enforce.
Speak With a Los Angeles Employment Dispute Lawyer
California’s laws protecting workers are robust, but you may still need an employment lawyer’s help in exercising your rights. A Los Angeles employment dispute lawyer can help you if the dispute resolution clauses in your employment contract are themselves a matter of dispute. Contact Obagi Law Group, P.C. in Los Angeles, California to discuss your situation or call 424-284-2401.