Legal Trickery – Eric A. Parzianello

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Do Your Employment Agreements Require Arbitration and Preclude Class Actions?

Posted by Eric Parzianello on March 1, 2015

A February 17, 2015, decision of the district court in the Southern District of Florida confirms the ability of an employer to require an incoming employee to execute and be bound by an arbitration agreement.

In Curbelo v. Autonation Benefits, Inc., the plaintiff electronically signed a confidentiality, no-solicit, non-compete, and arbitration agreement on her first day on the job. The agreement required arbitration of any claim she could bring against her employer “i ncluding participation as a class representative or class member on any claim.” The plaintiff sued the employer in federal court under the Fair Labor Standards Act for wage violations and sought to act as a class representative on behalf of other employees. The federal court found that both the arbitration clause and the class action waiver were valid and enforceable. The court ordered the case to arbitration.

Arbitration clauses in your employment agreements can be another way to limit your litigation risk. Make sure your employment agreements protect your company.

Eric Parzianello


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