I have a contract with my employer that includes a standard arbitration clause but there is one paragraph I want to undertand.

My employer wants to change financial terms of my contract and is doing so without my agreement or consent. The clause in the already agreed and signed contract states the following: "The arbitrator shall have no power to award damages inconsistent with the Agreement or punitive damages or any other damages not measured by the prevailing Party’s actual damages, and the Parties expressly waive their rights to obtain such damages in arbitration". I believe I will need to go to arbitration, does the above clause mean I cannot claim for loss of earnings (I have a 2 year contract with my employer) or that I can only claim for what I´m disputing as I believe I have no choice to leave the company. Any advice would be gratefully received.

Miami, FL -

Attorney Answers (3)

Barry F Gartenberg

Barry F Gartenberg

Contracts / Agreements Lawyer - Springfield, NJ
Answered

The contract language is less than a model of clarity. It seems to be limiting damages to those specified in the contract and to actual damages. However, lost wages would most likely be deemed to be actual damages. Arbitration is very similar to litigation in many respects. Your interest would probably be better served if you had a lawyer represent you with regard to the arbitration.

Kindly note and remember that my response is merely a general comment on the law related to your question, and NOT legal advice or opinion. Also, your question and my response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship between us. You cannot rely upon what I have written, because I do not have all of the information that I need to advise you or render an opinion. Even simple facts you have not shared can completely change my answer. For me to give you legal advice or opinion, you would need to hire me to be your lawyer, and then we would need to discuss this in detail and go over the documents.

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William Ira Corman

William Ira Corman

Wrongful Termination Lawyer - Oakland, CA
Answered

It is highly unlikely that this clause could or would be interpreted as meaning that you could not collect your owed wages as damages should you prevail. You should speak with a local attorney who can more particularly assist you in this matter and also advise you as to whether the provisions of the arbitration agreement are consistent with Florida law as it may be that its provision are otherwise limiting your legal right to other damages to which you may be entitled.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

Jeffrey Twersky

Jeffrey Twersky

Car / Auto Accident Lawyer - Everett, WA
Answered

Without seeing the entire contract, it is difficult to say, as the clause may be out of context. However, it appears that you would be limited to actual damages, which I assume would be your loss of earnings. You don't state whether your employer can unilaterally change the terms of your employment, such as your wages, which also makes this difficult to answer.

Please note that my response is a general comment on the law related to your question, and is NOT legal advice or opinion. Also, your question and my response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship between us. You cannot rely upon what I have written, because I do not have all of the information that I need to advise you or render an opinion. Even simple facts you have not shared can completely change my answer. For me to give you legal advice or opinion, you would need to hire me to be your lawyer, and then we would need to discuss this in detail and go over the documents. I do not practice in Florida, and you should contact and retain an attorney licensed in Florida in order to fully answer your question.

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