Arbitration Agreement That Does Not Contain Class Action Waiver in Ohio

Oct 10, 2022
By Peter Friedmann

How To Navigate Arbitration Agreements That Do Not Contain Class Action Waivers

Employment contracts can include a few different elements and clauses, including your rate of pay, start date, employee benefits, and dispute resolution clauses such as an arbitration agreement.  You should read any document that you are signing very carefully, as a lot of people agree to an arbitration clause without knowing it because they do not carefully read a document prior to signing it.

Disputes in the workplace can arise for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Breaches of contract
  • Discrimination based on:
    • Race
    • Gender
    • Religion
    • Disability
    • Military status
    • Religion
    • Pregnancy
    • FMLA leave
    • Sex/gender
    • National Origin
  • Hostile work environment
  • Wage and hour issues
  • Harassment based on a protected class, like those listed above

Seeking resolution to disputes often involves legal proceedings like arbitration and even class and collective actions.

Below, we look at what arbitration agreements are, and what they can mean for you when an arbitration agreement does not contain a class action waiver.

What is an Arbitration Agreement?

An arbitration agreement is a clause within a larger contract, such as an employment contract, that defines how any involved parties may reach an agreement should a dispute arise. Typically, if a legal dispute arises, a lawsuit can be filed.  When someone signs an arbitration agreement, they agree NOT to file a lawsuit for most disagreements related to their employment and instead agree to use a process called arbitration.  Arbitration is more employer-friendly.

Arbitration serves as an alternative to more traditional litigation, where a judge or jury will decide the outcome of a case.  An Arbitrator (a single person) decides the case and it cannot be appealed.

When compared to traditional litigation, Arbitration will typically be quicker and has the added benefit of being a private process. Unlike traditional litigation, arbitration is not a court proceeding, therefore a judge or jury will not be involved. Instead, a neutral party, known as an arbitrator, will hold a hearing and listen to evidence from both sides before they make a decision.

To read more on the pros and cons of arbitration, see this post on forced arbitration.

What is a Class Action Waiver?

A class action waiver is a provision found in contracts or within an arbitration agreement itself. 

This kind of waiver means that one party (the employee) has waived the right to file a class action lawsuit against the other party (the employer). So, if an arbitration agreement has a class action waiver included and you sign the contract, you agree to not pursue any kind of a class action lawsuit against your employer. How to file a class action lawsuit in Ohio

Before signing any new employment contracts, it can be in your best interest to thoroughly review the contract to see if a class action waiver is included.

You can also reach out to an employment lawyer like our team here at The Friedmann Firm for help reviewing the contract— especially if you have the ability to negotiate your contract.

Our team members are available to offer opinions on whether your contract is fair and what the class action waiver and arbitration agreement in Ohio may mean for your situation.

What is an Arbitration Agreement That Does Not Contain a Class Action Waiver?

An arbitration agreement that does not contain a class action waiver is an arbitration agreement that allows employees to pursue a class action lawsuit if they choose to.

A class action lawsuit allows an employee to file a lawsuit on behalf of a larger group of employees who have been treated unlawfully in some manner, whether it be discrimination, harassment, or even retaliation.

For example, if an employer repeatedly fails to promote individuals within a company based on their race, just one affected employee may file a class action lawsuit on behalf of themselves and others – as long as they did not sign an arbitration agreement with a collective action waiver provision.

Typically, employers will include a class action waiver provision within their arbitration agreements to avoid expensive and lengthy lawsuits that often result from class actions.

If you believe that you have grounds for a class action lawsuit or you have signed a class action waiver, it can be prudent to reach out to a collective action lawyer for a consultation.

Connect With a Columbus Collective Action Lawyer

When it comes to class action waivers and arbitration agreements in Ohio, there can be a lot of questions that come to mind – whether you are looking to negotiate an arbitration agreement out of a contract or if you have questions relating to an existing agreement or waiver in your current contract.

Here at The Friedmann Firm, LLC, our team is well-versed in employment law. Connecting with one of our Columbus collective action lawyers will allow experienced legal professionals to look over your case. With our specialization in employment law, we will be able to investigate your case and any other employees who may be involved in a potential class action lawsuit.

We can offer legal advice and guidance specific to your individual case. You can call us at 614-610-9755 or you can schedule a free and confidential consultation online.