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Why arbitration agreements could affect your harassment claim

If you have become involved in a conflict with your employer because you made a sexual harassment claim, you will need to take the time to understand the next steps. The steps that you will be able to take will first depend on the contents of your employment contract in Missouri.

In many cases, employment contracts include an arbitration clause. This clause essentially means that all employees must go through the arbitration process rather than the court process in the event of a dispute with their employer. It tends to be put in place to help companies avoid costly litigation in the event of a dispute.

The negatives of arbitration from an employee perspective

Arbitration is efficient and can be fair to both parties in many situations. However, when it comes to sexual harassment cases, it is believed by many that these should be opened up to the court system rather than be resolved in private arbitration.

Forced arbitration tends not to be beneficial for victims because this process is focused on reaching a compromise between parties. Mandatory arbitration for sexual harassment claims in the workplace is believed by many to be unjust.

What are my options if I want to take my claim to court?

If you have signed a mandatory arbitration agreement but want to take your claim to court, you may be able to challenge the agreement. Courts in the past have refused to enforce arbitration agreements that are unfair to the employee and attempt to hide issues that affect the public. If your employment contract does not have an arbitration clause, you will be able to choose the course of action that you want to take.

What is being done to combat forced arbitration?

The National Association of Attorneys General has sent a letter to Congress with the intention of petitioning them to protect workers from forced arbitration in sexual harassment claims. Pressure is building on lawmakers to put an end to this unfair practice.

By looking closely at your employment contract and by understanding employment law in Missouri, you will be in a better position to get justice after your experience of sexual harassment at work. No one should ever have to tolerate sexual harassment, and by taking action you will be helping to prevent such behavior from occurring in the future.

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