Author Topic: employer binding arbitration agreements  (Read 1828 times)

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Offline Clear as mud

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employer binding arbitration agreements
« on: February 27, 2019, 10:46:40 pm »
What do y'all think about signing a binding arbitration agreement with an employer?  I've never sued an employer and never intend to, but I don't want to give up my right to do so.

I'm searching for employment and I know beggars can't be choosers, so do I ignore the fact that the arbitration agreement is repugnant to me and just sign it anyway?  The employer I am looking at is Garmin.  They've got a couple of interesting listings, but when I go to sign up for an account at their job site garmin.taleo.net so that I can apply, in the middle of the terms and conditions is a binding arbitration agreement that says I specifically give up my right to sue them in court except in the case of unemployment compensation claims.

I miss the days of paper applications.  Then it was easy to just cross out part of the agreement, and let the employer decide from there if they still wanted to hire me.
 

Offline Clear as mud

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Re: employer binding arbitration agreements
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2019, 04:23:12 am »
I'm not quite sure I posted this in the right category anyway.
So, something I said in the last post - beggars can't be choosers.  I just need a job!  So I decided to put up with the stupid arbitration agreement and just apply for the job anyway.  It's been a few hours since I originally posted.  I ate supper and went ahead with the application process.  Of all the stupid, frustrating things!  Maybe I should have just avoided it like I wanted to originally.

I signed up for an account, I uploaded a resume, edited my job history, answered all their questions.  Some of them made me a little uncomfortable.  They asked "Do you currently have or are you working to develop any applications for the open market?" so I tried to explain that I'm trying to do a little bit of electronics design work each day to keep my skills intact, but I don't expect to make much money doing it.  They only give me 25 characters to explain.  So I put "no room to explain."  Anyhow, somehow I got logged out due to 60 minutes of inactivity, even though for the entire 60 minutes I was busy answering their questions, clicking to go on to the next page every few minutes, uploading files, and so on.  And when I try to log back in it says my account doesn't exist!  It's just frustrating.  Either my browser extension blocked some necessary feature (unlikely since I only have PrivacyBadger and no other extensions running) or possibly there was some password issue.

The job description makes it sound like a nice place to work, but I'm just not sure after all of that B.S.  It's after 10 pm here so I'm going to sleep.  I'll figure this out in the morning.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: employer binding arbitration agreements
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2019, 05:09:56 am »
Requiring someone to sign up to an account to apply and then sticking something like that in the terms and conditions gives me the heebie jeebies. Employment conditions are to be negotiated and agreed upon in a contract.

I'm curious to hear whether this is more common nowadays.
 

Offline BBBbbb

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Re: employer binding arbitration agreements
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2019, 08:03:28 am »
I found that often these agreements might be in conflict with the local law, therefore, being invalid.
Only the really big companies with serious compliance and legal departments pay close attention to what they ask of their employee to sign. 

Also it's funny how some potential employers, in order to get more insight into your current work, would ask questions and expect answers that generally fall under NDA with your current employer, but also expect integrity on your behalf if you start working for them.
 

Offline AndyC_772

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Re: employer binding arbitration agreements
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2019, 09:43:41 am »
Requiring someone to sign up to an account to apply and then sticking something like that in the terms and conditions gives me the heebie jeebies. Employment conditions are to be negotiated and agreed upon in a contract.

I'm curious to hear whether this is more common nowadays.

Normally an employment contract would have an "entire agreement" clause, which would mean it supersedes whatever went before.

With that in mind, I can't see how the terms in a click-through agreement could ever actually be applicable to someone who actually took a job there.

Offline Clear as mud

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Re: employer binding arbitration agreements
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2019, 01:08:06 pm »
Update - I finished the application process.

In my opinion, you're all correct that they shouldn't be asking these things, but they do.  I'm thinking I'll go ahead and apply with some other employers also, and hopefully get a job with one that doesn't require me to sign away so much.  If I get an offer from Garmin, I guess I'll take it, under the assumption that if I don't make problems for them, then they won't make problems for me (even though the terms and conditions are a bit of a problem).

It's a professional industry, and people generally want to go above and beyond what the contract requires.  Case in point: I was totally unable to log in this morning on their job seeker site.  My account was screwed up so the login page refused, the reset password page told me the username didn't exist, the new account signup told me the username already existed.  So, I actually called their cloud provider and managed to get in a description of my problem before they told me they couldn't help me because I wasn't their client.  Then, despite saying they couldn't help, they fixed it anyway and I successfully logged in a few minutes later and was able to finish my application from last night.
 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: employer binding arbitration agreements
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2019, 07:14:43 pm »
Meh, it's just an application...

Chilling, yes.

If you were to accuse them of, say, discrimination -- I don't know that that can be signed away anyway.  In any case, if it comes to a challenge, you'll want to ask a real lawyer, not just a bunch of guys on a forum. :)

Nonsensical, difficult or onerous procedures, I would tend to read as, "they must not want my services".  That's their problem, not mine.  Big corporations (not sure how big Garmin is; must be in the thousands of employees worldwide I would guess?) tend to prefer compliant and mediocre employees.

Tim
Seven Transistor Labs, LLC
Electronic design, from concept to prototype.
Bringing a project to life?  Send me a message!
 

Offline dunkemhigh

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Re: employer binding arbitration agreements
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2019, 10:23:20 pm »
Quote
Big corporations (not sure how big Garmin is; must be in the thousands of employees worldwide I would guess?) tend to prefer compliant and mediocre employees.

I'm sure they'd like brilliant employees if they got through the application process :)

I think the difference is that a big corp assumes you want to work there so it's up to you to toe the line, and there are plenty more fish if you don't. A small company is coming from the other end - that they want to persuade you to work there - so are more amenable.
 

Offline anovickis

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Re: employer binding arbitration agreements
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2019, 07:39:28 pm »
I'd go through with the interview and get to the negotiation stage,
you should have an idea what you should be compensated

Now at this point go ahead and _add_ some number based on having this agreement in place
say, 20K, or whatever you think the risk is worth

remember they are asking you for something in addition to normal work, and you should ask for compensation for that





 

Offline nctnico

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Re: employer binding arbitration agreements
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2019, 08:51:45 pm »
I'm searching for employment and I know beggars can't be choosers, so do I ignore the fact that the arbitration agreement is repugnant to me and just sign it anyway?  The employer I am looking at is Garmin.  They've got a couple of interesting listings, but when I go to sign up for an account at their job site garmin.taleo.net so that I can apply, in the middle of the terms and conditions is a binding arbitration agreement that says I specifically give up my right to sue them in court except in the case of unemployment compensation claims.
I have seen something similar in an NDA I reviewed a while ago. It seems that there is a secondary law system in the US which seems to be modelled after the French system which looks at what is fair and it less likely to result in needing to pay insane amounts of money in case of a claim.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Clear as mud

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Re: employer binding arbitration agreements
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2019, 09:36:39 pm »
The problem with this "secondary law system" is that it doesn't receive government funds.  It is paid for by the same corporations that require you to use it.  So, the arbitrators are more likely to decide in the interest of those companies.
 

Offline bson

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Re: employer binding arbitration agreements
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2019, 09:20:16 pm »
It works both ways though.  I've never had a dispute with an employer, but if I did I'd much rather take it to arbitration than suffer the cost and protraction of a civil lawsuit.  Get it settled and move on.
 

Offline CCitizenTO

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Re: employer binding arbitration agreements
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2019, 03:12:08 am »
I found that often these agreements might be in conflict with the local law, therefore, being invalid.
Only the really big companies with serious compliance and legal departments pay close attention to what they ask of their employee to sign. 

Also it's funny how some potential employers, in order to get more insight into your current work, would ask questions and expect answers that generally fall under NDA with your current employer, but also expect integrity on your behalf if you start working for them.

The way you get around those questions... When they ask things which are covered by NDA's you reply with "I would like to provide more information but it is covered by a NDA". They will probably respect that answer the most because it shows you are trustworthy with confidential or proprietary information.
 


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