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Forced to sign arbitration agreement or lose hours?

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?

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.

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Attorney answers 1

Posted

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 any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.

Asker

Posted

I too also work for this place but one thing that was not added at this is they put a legal contract in to a training classes this arbitration does not have anything to do with training and you can't get 100 percent on it if you dont agree the opt out is good for 30 days but the manager does not follow this but gives you only twenty day even if you do the optout the computer only know to opt in and so you dont finish your training why is is legal to put a legal document in to a training class these 2 are sep it is like saying you can have your cake and eat it too but here it is a 20 20 you can opt out but even thou you opt out you still have to opt in to get any hours so we get punished for cause they don't want to get sued by any one makes me wonder what they are doing underground that has to make them get worried about some one suing them and why be so sneaky about it

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