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Old 01-29-2019, 09:16 AM   #1  
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Default Arbitration Agreement

Anyone have experience with this?
I'm a corporate pilot with a company for over a year and was recently asked to sign an Arbitration Agreement Contract to which they are offering a cash incentive to do so. We can chose to decline but my concern is what downside if any there might be. I have read that with some companies this could put a job in joepardy by declining. This Contract was sent out company wide and not just for flight department.
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Old 01-29-2019, 09:49 AM   #2  
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I had a similar situation many years ago, but no signing bonus. Company-wide, I asked my boss about it, she said she wasn't signing it either. I felt comfortable that there would be no targeted retaliation in my chain of command.

I wouldn't worry about it if you don't want to sign it, it's just an HR fishing expedition to try to mitigate future risk (you can bet it will be mandatory for new-hires though). Surprised they're just doing this now, it was 20 years ago for me.

In fact I personally might take the bonus unless I had reason to suspect that I might have to litigate something, or I might be around for many years (things can change over time).
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:41 AM   #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrlv2av8 View Post
Anyone have experience with this?
I'm a corporate pilot with a company for over a year and was recently asked to sign an Arbitration Agreement Contract to which they are offering a cash incentive to do so. We can chose to decline but my concern is what downside if any there might be. I have read that with some companies this could put a job in joepardy by declining. This Contract was sent out company wide and not just for flight department.
I'm not a lawyer, but I read about a similar case just last month, copied below for your perusal.

Basically, the downside as far as I can tell is that by signing the contract you waive your right to "collectively" sue the company by participating in a class action lawsuit.

In other words, the company wants to settle with you, personally, as an individual, because they believe you alone will be cheaper to pay off then an entire "class action" lawsuit.

Unfortunately for Chipotle, it blew up in their face.

Ultimately, it sounds like a personal decision. Good luck.

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/...b0407e90787abd

Quote:
A few years ago, the burrito chain Chipotle began requiring employees to sign mandatory arbitration agreements. The idea was to force the workers to give up their right to sue collectively over wage theft or workplace discrimination.

Chipotle’s plan seems to have worked out a little too well: The company is now facing a flood of arbitration cases from former employees determined to win the backpay they claim they are owed.

Facing potentially huge liabilities, Chipotle recently asked a federal judge to block the workers from seeking arbitration with lawyers who’d represented them in court ― despite the fact Chipotle had forced arbitration upon its workers via agreements they had to sign when they were hired.

The judge denied that request, calling Chipotle’s actions “unseemly.”

“This is their worst-case scenario, apparently ― and the scenario they asked for,” said Kent Williams, one of the attorneys representing the former Chipotle employees.
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Old 01-29-2019, 11:44 AM   #4  
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Such agreements would typically apply to all actions, not just class action.

Ie you get fired unjustly, instead of suing you have to use binding arbitration. Which typically tends to favor the employer. Also the major reason employers prefer this is because an emotional case before a jury can result in huge awards all out of proportion to the actual damages. With arbitration, the best the employee can get is the actual damages (pain and suffering might be an option in some cases, but no huge windfalls).
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Old 01-29-2019, 12:49 PM   #5  
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Arbitration is usually a better, less expensive way to settle a matter, but ultimately it's less expensive for the company. Many of the cell companies have this written into their cellular contracts, and it has the effect of chopping you off at the knees if you have a problem.

Arbitration gives you "inferior bargaining power."

You're agreeing to step into a boxing ring with a bigger player, and give up a lot of ground and rights. There are advantages and disadvantages.

Arbitration is different than mediation in which an intermediary seeks to help both sides come to an agreement.
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:50 AM   #6  
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Thanks gentlemen for your thoughts and info.

It seems to me the dilemma is whether or not to appear as a "Team Player" to the company and possibly risk a larger financial outcome in the unlikely event of a judgement against your employer. Barring a career ending accident/incident of some kind.

However, a few years ago my License was put in jeopardy by a 135 operator. It ended up being a nightmare for the operator but ended up fine for me. As a side note: Had I not self reported the situation to the FAA I'm not sure how my future would have turned out and I could see this type of event possibly becoming a law suit of some kind.

I have asked my CP some questions as to internal appearance/recourse of this contract. Still waiting for his opinion.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:22 PM   #7  
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There's a reason corporations always push arbitration. It's becoming the norm in most contracts.
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