In many fields of employment, an employer may seek to obtain its employees’ signatures or agreements in which those workers sign away their right to sue in court for certain claims, such as unpaid overtime or minimum wage disputes. In place of a trial in court is a hearing before an arbitrator or arbitration panel. Employers insist on these agreements because, often, proceeding in arbitration as opposed to litigation works to the employer’s benefit and to the employee’s detriment. That’s why you should proceed with substantial care before such a waiver of your rights and, if you have questions or concerns, get in touch with a knowledgeable Atlanta minimum wage lawyer.
Not only can an agreement place you in the position of contesting your underlying claims before an arbitrator, but even the arguments you raise about the enforceability of the arbitration agreement itself may also have to be contested in that same arbitration setting.
That was the bad news for some workers who sued in federal court in New York alleging they were illegally underpaid. The plaintiffs were workers at various locations of a center that spread the teachings of Kabbalah. These were workers who, when they joined the center, signed vows of poverty. They received “cash allowances or monthly stipends,” housing, food, and clothing. They received no other compensation for their work.