Does the arbitration clause take away the rights of the employee?
Absolutely, in this attorney’s opinion. Under the Federal Arbitration Act passed by Congress, most disputes between an employee and an employer must be decided by arbitration if the employer has made it a condition of employment. In arbitration, the employee is denied the right to a jury and, in most instances, the right to Appeal. The employee is subject to the Act if the work is to be performed in “Interstate Commerce” and the employee has agreed to arbitration. The Supreme Court has interpreted what is “Interstate Commerce” in a very broad way.
Further, the Court has held that, even if the employee has not knowingly agreed to the arbitration, the employee is bound to arbitration, as long as there is sufficient notice. In the application process, the arbitration provision is generally one of many documents that the employee signs without reading. Even if the employee had read the document and disagreed with it, the employer can refuse to hire the employee unless it is signed. In almost all instances, the employee will sign.