Early in my legal career, a colleague taught me the
expression: pigs get fed; hogs get slaughtered. Essentially, be agressive. But
push too hard, and you may lose it all.
Some PA companies require their new hires to sign an
agreement requiring them to arbitrate any claims that arise out of the
employment relationship. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that agreements requiring
employees to arbitrate employment-related claims are ok. However, in
Pennsylvania (as in other states), when those agreements are too one-sided,
courts deem them unconscionable and, therefore, unenforceable.
So remember, pigs get fed; hogs get slaughtered. And
thanks to a decision the Third Circuit Court of Appeals handed down yesterday,
PA employers now have a better blueprint as to how to avoid unconscionable
After all, fair is fair.
The case is Quillon v. Tenet HealthSystem
Philadelphia, Inc., a copy of which you can find here. I'll skip the facts and get right to the tips:
Most importantly, make sure that employees understand
what they are signing. So, when you provide the arbitration agreement to your
new hire -- whether as a standalone or as part of an employee handbook --
confirm that the employee acknowledges that to which he/she is agreeing.
This article was originally published on Eric B. Meyer's blog, The Employer
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