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Arbitrate or litigate?
By: Eric Turner

The validity of arbitration agreements continues to be the subject of litigation in Kansas and Missouri. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold class action waivers in arbitration agreements between employers and employees is one of many other issues raised in recent employment arbitration cases.

In October, a federal court in Kansas considered whether an enforceable arbitration agreement existed when the employee didn’t sign the arbitration agreement. In Kansas, an employee continuing to work after receiving notice of an employer’s arbitration policy is generally considered the same as an employee who has accepted the terms of the arbitration policy. In the most recent case, the employer sent multiple emails to the employee’s work email informing her of her right to opt out of arbitration. The employee didn’t deny receiving the emails and didn’t opt out of the agreement. The court initially noted that, if accepted, the agreement would be valid because it required both the employer and employee to arbitrate any disputes. In contrast, an agreement that requires the employee to arbitrate but makes arbitration optional for the employer isn’t enforceable. The key issue in this case was whether an employee failing to opt out may be deemed to have accepted mandatory arbitration. The court found that even if the employee didn’t read any of the emails, the employer provided adequate notice, and the employee had a meaningful opportunity to reject the offer of arbitration. Thus, by failing to opt out, the employee bound herself to arbitrate her discrimination and retaliation      Continue Reading...


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