It is becoming increasingly common for employers to include arbitration clauses in employment agreements. The result is that, in many cases, an employee must engage in the arbitration process, and the complex procedures it entails, before taking any legal action against his or her employer in the courts. Given the prevalence of arbitration requirements in this context today, it is wise to seek the assistance of an experienced employment discrimination attorney at Phillips & Associates if you are considering taking legal action against a New York employer for its wrongful conduct.The Role of Arbitration
Arbitration, like mediation, is a process in which parties submit their disputes to a neutral third party, or “arbitrator,” for resolution. Each side follows the relevant guidelines when presenting evidence, and parties are entitled to be represented by attorneys.
The arbitrator gives each party notice of when a hearing will be held, and during the hearing, each party can present evidence and cross-examine witnesses, and the arbitrator issues a ruling. Under New York law, the arbitrator has the power to reach a decision based upon the evidence presented even if one of the notified parties does not appear at the hearing.
What makes arbitration distinct from mediation is that the decision reached by the arbitrator is typically binding, enforceable in New York state court, and in some cases may not be appealed.
An arbitration clause in an employment contract generally sets forth the details regarding how an arbitrator will be chosen, in what jurisdiction the arbitration will take place, and whether the decision reached in arbitration will be binding or not. Failure to comply with an arbitration clause prior filing a lawsuit can result in the claim being prematurely dismissed.
Due to the complexity of these procedures, it is advisable to hire an attorney who is familiar not only with the underlying substantive law, but also with the arbitration process and its various requirements. The lawyers at Phillips & Associates are intimately familiar with arbitration and its relationship to employment discrimination cases.Bringing a Claim Against an Employer
Employment discrimination suits often fall under the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) jurisdiction. Specifically, most employers that have at least 15 employees are covered by the EEOC’s anti-discrimination laws. The laws apply to discrimination in all sorts of employment contexts, including in hiring, firing, promotions, wages, and benefits. Therefore, in order to bring a discrimination case against an employer under federal law, in many cases the employee must first file a claim with the EEOC.
After you file a claim with the EEOC, it will make a decision as to how it will proceed. This can lead to the agency further investigating the company, dismissing the charge, or filing suit against your employer. The EEOC may also provide you with a Notice of Right to Sue, which means that while the agency itself will not file a lawsuit on your behalf, you can do so on your own.
If the EEOC does not have jurisdiction, or if it believes that your charge is untimely, it will close your case. If your claim is dismissed, you will be notified.
Even if an employee is a party to an arbitration agreement with his or her employer that prevents the pursuit of litigation, the EEOC possesses independent authority to bring discrimination claims against the employer in court, unrestrained by the employee’s arbitration agreement.Consult a Sexual Harassment Attorney Before Undergoing Arbitration in New York
If you have been the victim of unlawful discrimination in a New York workplace, you should consult the skilled sexual harassment lawyers at Phillips & Associates. We have a long track record of successful outcomes and satisfied clients. Our hardworking attorneys are dedicated to helping you receive the compensation you deserve. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we do not get paid any fees until we secure a recovery for you. Initial consultations are always free and confidential. Fill out our online contact form today or call (212) 248-7431 in order to meet with us and discuss your situation.