Many employees in Minnesota have relationships with their employers that are governed by employment contracts. Like many other types of contracts that our readers might be familiar with, employment contracts can be several pages long, covering a vast range of terms, from compensation, holiday time and insurance options. But, there is one potential clause in employment contracts that can sometimes be overlooked, but may become crucial: a mandatory arbitration clause.

Does your employment contract have a mandatory arbitration clause? If so, by entering into the agreement you may have limited your ability to pursue civil court options if an employment dispute arises during your term of employment. However, every employment contract is different, so anyone with an arbitration clause in their contract should seek individual legal advice about their options.

The main objective employers have when they insert an arbitration clause into an employment contract is to, in essence, force all legal disputes away from the courts and into arbitration. In fact, one of the even bigger goals is to prevent employees from joining class action lawsuits against the employer. These types of lawsuits can be especially difficult for employers, both in terms of bad publicity and costs. They have every incentive to head them off, if at all possible.

That is why employees in Minnesota will want to be extra careful about reviewing the terms of their employment contracts. If an employee has the leverage to demand changes to the terms, it may be beneficial to do so in order to leave the legal options open.

Source: citylab.com, “The Supreme Court May Make It Even Harder to Sue Your Employer,” Kriston Capps, May 1, 2018