Employees Signed Arbitration Agreements? Are You Sure?

Employees Signed Arbitration Agreements? Are You Sure?

Employer arbitration agreements have been in the news recently, but here’s one you may not have seen coming, for simplicity’s sake alone: “Court requires proof employees signed arbitration agreement to compel arbitration.” This comes from Foley & Lardner’s Rebecca Hanson, who writes about a recent federal court decision on the Labor and Employment Law Perspectives blog.

“Employers cannot rely on general policies requiring employees to sign such agreements to compel arbitration if the employees have not actually signed them,” says Hanson. She explains that in the case at hand, the company could not locate the signed arbitration forms of certain employees in a class. Though the company argued the employees must have signed them at one point, since it was company policy, the judge held the Federal Arbitration Act requires the employer to demonstrate there’s a written agreement.

“While it may seem like a fairly obvious point, the case nonetheless reminds employers of the importance of dotting all the I’s and crossing all the T’s when it comes to read-and-sign policy documents,” says Hanson. And it also highlights the importance of keeping signed documents in employee personnel files—recordkeeping for the win.

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