Businesses throughout the country typically include arbitration clauses in their employment contracts, and Orange County is no exception. Taking employee complaints to arbitration saves business owners the expense and publicity of defending lawsuits and potentially undergoing court trials. But a recent change in federal law could affect how your company handles certain claims.
Our attorneys at Burkhalter Kessler Clement & George LLP provide business owners and executives with skilled representation and advice related to employment law. We are equally adept at representing employers during arbitration and in court, and we will keep you apprised of changes to the law so your employee policies will remain up to date and relevant.
A New Exception To Arbitration Requirements
Until recently, employee arbitration clauses applied to virtually any dispute that could arise between a California business and one of its employees. That changed in March 2022, when President Joe Biden signed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021 into law.
Essentially, this law states that employees are no longer bound by arbitration clauses in their employment agreements when it comes to issues like claims of sexual harassment and other workplace sexual misconduct. They now have the option to sue their employer instead. The law applies to disputes and claims brought on or after the date the Act became law. An unintended consequence is that an employee may allege sexual harassment even if there was no harassment just to try and avoid arbitration.
Adjusting To The New Rules
As an employer, you may need to adjust your legal strategy in reaction to this new law and how courts may interpret it in the future. Changes to state and federal employment laws require a personalized review of your policies. Our attorneys will help guide you through this process. Our practical, real-world advice can save you considerable time and money in the long run.
Legal Counsel You Can Trust With Arbitration And Trial Defense
If you are defending yourself from allegations of sexual harassment, we will provide firm representation. We are seasoned litigators who have earned a strong reputation at trial. Contact Burkhalter Kessler Clement & George LLP online or call us at 949-227-2201 to schedule your consultation with one of our lawyers.