Attorney Joseph M. Lovretovich Educates Employees on Arbitration Agreements

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California employment law attorney Joseph M. Lovretovich, of JML Law, lists the top four tips all employees should know about arbitration agreements and why not to sign them.

Attorney Joseph M. Lovretovich

On one’s first day at a new job they typically have to sign mountains of new-hire paperwork. “However, before you sign anything, make sure to look for an arbitration agreement or provision buried in all that paperwork,” said attorney Joseph M. Lovretovich, founder of JML Law. “In today’s world, many employers will ask their new employees to sign an arbitration agreement, where the employee will give up his or her right to sue their employer in court in exchange for the process of arbitration, which the employer will promise is a cheaper, faster and more efficient way for you to resolve your claim.”

To help employees better understand arbitration agreements,Lovretovich lists the following four tips:

No. 1: Arbitration is costly. Arbitration is an inherently uneven playing field. “It’s costly, not transparent, and objectively questionable,” said Lovretovich.

No. 2: Look for an opt-out clause. If a new employee looks through their new-hire paperwork, they might see a provision that allows them to opt-out of arbitration. “Many employers have started to place opt-out provisions in their arbitration agreements so that they can later tell a court that the employee was given every opportunity to say ‘no’ to arbitration,” added Lovretovich. “If you are given the opportunity to opt-out by your employer, do it, as arbitration takes away your rights to bring a claim against your employer in the court of law, there is no jury in arbitration, and the arbitrator is being paid by your employer to hear your case.”

No. 3: Limited discovery provisions. It is likely the arbitration agreement might limit the amount of information an employee will be able to get from their employer. “This is problematic for most employment cases where your employer starts with most of the information, including documents and witnesses that may help your case,” noted Lovretovich.

No. 4: No second chances. Like judges, arbitrators may come out with a decision that is unfair or illogical. “Generally, however, there is no due process right to judicial review of an arbitration award,” concluded Lovretovich. “In fact, arbitration decisions are usually considered final, barring some egregious unfairness during the arbitration process. There goes the second chance you could have if you stayed in the court system.”

About Joseph M. Lovretovich, JML Law
Joseph M. Lovretovich is widely regarded as one of California’s top trial lawyers, and 100% of his practice is devoted to litigation. JML Law specializes in employment law, personal injury and workers’ compensation. For more information, please call (818) 835-5735, or visit http://www.jmllaw.com.

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