The last time you met with a new doctor, you were probably given an "arbitration agreement" along with all of the other paperwork you were asked to complete and sign. A similar arbitration agreement will also probably be handed to you the next time you are hired by a large corporation or when you enter into any consumer contract for products and services. So, what is an arbitration agreement, and why are so many of doctors, employers and consumer companies so anxious for you to sign one?
What is an Arbitration Agreement & What Does it Do?
An arbitration agreement requires that—in the event of a dispute—you are waiving your right to a jury trial, and you agree that any dispute shall be resolved through a more informal process where your dispute shall be decided by an arbitrator. Here are a few things you should know about the abritration process:
- An arbitrator is not required to follow the law.
- There is almost no right to appeal an arbitrator's decision.
- Arbitrators are generally paid by those same companies that so urgently want you to sign an arbitration agreement.
- Arbitrations are private and hide corporate or professional wrongdoing from public view, allowing transgressions to be repeated. This is particularly vexing in cases of employer harassment of employees.
When presented by a mondatory arbitration agreement...just say no.