MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota. If your rights have been violated at work, you may think that you’d have the right to sue your employer. For example, if you suffer a sexual assault at work and your company does nothing, many workers would think that they would have the right to sue. Or, if your employer steals your wages or subjects you to discrimination, you’d think you would have the right to fight back. However, as more companies force workers to sign forced arbitration agreements, some workers facing these very challenges find themselves unable to sue. The New York Times reports that the changes have essentially led to the privatization of the justice system, denying victims of corporate abuse their fair day in court.
Vox reports that employees are required to take their cases to private arbitration where they may receive less money in settlement and where they may be more likely to lose. Arbitration doesn’t have the same kind of oversight that regular civil courts provide.
While a workplace injury lawyer can still represent your interests, your lawyer will be representing your interests in a forum that has been selected by your employer. If you were a company that got to choose your own judge and jury, you’d imagine that the outcome might be stacked in your favor, and many attorneys who work with arbitration cases have found that arbitration agreements do indeed tend to favor employers over workers. In fact, the companies that perform the arbitration are hired by the companies who need the arbitration. The person seeking a claim isn’t paying the arbitrators.
Additionally, these agreements allow employers to keep disputes private, including claims of sexual harassment, or wage theft. The bad publicity alone of a lawsuit might be enough to get some companies to privately settle. But if you’ve signed an arbitration agreement, you may have already given away this important leverage. Additionally, when settlements are reached in arbitration, workers are often asked to sign nondisclosure agreements.
Unfortunately, arbitration agreements are often required before employment and employees may not always realize what they are signing.
Having a lawyer represent you can still make a difference in an arbitration case. In an arbitration case, you and your lawyer have the right to present evidence and to strive to have your case fairly heard, even if the forum presents its own unique challenges. Under arbitration, the arbitrator can decide which evidence can and cannot be presented.
If you have been hurt on the job, you may have other options, such as making a claim with worker’s compensation. The Law Office of Martin T. Montilino are personal injury lawyers in Minneapolis, Minnesota who work closely with individuals who have been hurt at work. While workplace injuries pose their own unique challenges for litigation and resolution, with the help of a qualified workplace injury lawyer, like the Law Office of Martin T. Montilino, our firm can help you find the best possible resolution permitted under the law.
THE LAW OFFICE OF MARTIN T. MONTILINO, LLC
3109 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone: (612) 236-1320