Fort Worth arbitration lawyers represent clients in labor and employment law claims in arbitration. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution because it moves the forum out of the courts to a private setting. Alternative dispute resolution also includes mediation and other forms of private, non-judicial resolution. Arbitration is, however, similar in many aspects to a trial that might take place in Fort Worth, Texas. Fort Worth employment lawyers represent clients in both judicial and non-judicial forums.
Arbitration in Fort Worth, Texas
Most people don’t know realize it but they have undoubtedly signed multitudes of arbitration agreements. Businesses use arbitration agreements commonly in consumer transactions. They are especially popular with credit card and telecommunications. Employers often sometimes use arbitration agreements in hiring documents to avoid litigation. Arbitration is also common in union collective bargaining agreements. Most people do not read or pay attention to the arbitration agreements because it’s usually another button to click along the process of buying a new smartphone or getting a job.
What is arbitration?
Arbitration is a non-judicial procedure to resolve claims between parties. Arbitration generally includes a trial or trial-like hearing before an arbitrator. The arbitrator hears the evidence and arguments of the parties and renders a decision. Arbitration is a creature of contract so the rules and procedure of arbitration are mostly left up to the parties and the arbitration agreement. As a result arbitration may be very similar to trial procedure in Fort Worth, Texas state courts or federal courts in Dallas-Fort Worth. On the other hand, it may be a completely different process stripped down to a basic procedure.
Federal and Texas arbitration laws
Texas and federal law govern arbitration proceedings. The federal law is the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The Texas law is the Texas Arbitration Act (TAA). Both of these laws set a legal framework to bind parties to arbitration agreements and establish minimum standards to preserve due process. Originally the FAA, passed in the 1920s, intended to help large businesses set up a framework to resolve business disputes without years of litigation over shipments of wheat or steel. In the 1980s large corporations figured out they could apply these same laws to consumer transactions to block them from judicial remedies. Allies in the courts agreed and now arbitration is far more common with consumers and employees.
Arbitration and Fort Worth employment claims
Fort Worth employees may find themselves directed to arbitration for most employment law claims. Employment arbitration agreements tend to cover all employment claims except workers’ compensation which has its own non-judicial resolution process and most ERISA claims for benefit plans. Employees under a valid arbitration agreement will have to arbitrate their employment claims including wage claims, overtime pay, employment discrimination, FMLA, contract claims, retaliation and wrongful termination.
Although arbitration is often a more streamlined process it is not an easier process for employees. The legal standards for employment law claims remains the same. Generally any administrative procedures required in a lawsuit apply in arbitration as well. The process may be less complex but that can be harmful to an employee. Discovery is an important part of building the employee’s case because the employer generally controls the important files and paperwork related to the claim. The less discovery allowed by arbitration the more effective the employee must be with the discovery requests. For this reason, the employee should definitely retain a Fort Worth employment lawyer for arbitration.
Contact Fort Worth arbitration lawyer
If you believe you have an employment law claims that will go to arbitration you should contact a Fort Worth arbitration lawyer right away to start work on your case. Employment claims are complex and you need an attorney on your side who understands the law and the process.