Forced to sign arbitration agreement or lose hours?

Asked over 2 years ago - Tacoma, WA

I work for a large company and recently they have implemented new training. Employees must use a company computer and do "training" But, one of the training items is signing an arbitration agreement. If we do not sign this arbitration agreement by the 20th of April, we will not recieve 100% on our training and the manager said he will take us off the schedule for 2 consecutive weeks. However, there is an opt out form for this legal agreement, but it must be faxed or mailed to corp. within 30 days. I have chosen to opt out of this agreement, but I will not recieve 100% on my training and get my hours taken away. Is this legal? Can I be punished this way for protecting my rights by choosing to opt out of the arbitration agreement?

Additional information

In this agreement, it states that even FMLA, Americans w/ Disibilities Act, Civil Rights Act, rest periods and pay, and age discrimination are included in this agreement.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Pamela Koslyn

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Most arbitration clauses are enforceable, whether or not there's "consideration," i.e., whether you get something in exchange for the agreement to sue arbitration.

    Generally if you don't have a written employment contract, then your employment is "at will" and you don't have the right to continued employment or to keep the employment terms you currently have or formerly had. "At will" means you can be fired, demoted, have your hours changed or reduced, have your benefits changed or reduced or eliminated, etc. etc., as long as the treatment isn't discriminatory due to your age, sex, race, national origin, etc.

    Here your boss gave you the choice of signing this agreement or losing some training and some hours. You chose not to sign, and it could be that your boss will soon find a reason to fire you (although if you're "at will," they don't need a reason) because you wanted to keep the right to sue them in court rather than arbitrate.

    Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to... more

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