NJ Labor And Employment Law

The New Jersey Labor and Employment Law Blog is authored by Jay S. Becker and Joseph C. DeBlasio, shareholders in the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group, with support from the associates in the Group. It is dedicated to provide news and updates regarding all labor and employment matters throughout New Jersey.

An Arbitration Provision in Your Employee Handbook Is Not Enough

January 27, 2016 | Comments Off on An Arbitration Provision in Your Employee Handbook Is Not Enough
Posted by Ari Burd

Co-Authored By Jeri L. Abrams

The recent New Jersey Appellate Division decision in Morgan v. Raymours Furniture Co. has left little doubt that arbitration provisions contained in employee handbooks are unlikely to be enforceable.

In the past, many employers have included arbitration agreements within their employee handbooks with the intention of requiring personnel to waive their right to bring certain types of legal claims in court and, instead, have their claims heard by an impartial arbitrator.  The idea of having a case (and damages) decided in arbitration by a legal professional is usually more appealing to employers when compared to the uncertainty and publicity of an often more expensive and time-consuming jury trial.  However, thanks to the Appellate Division’s decision, it is now quite clear that any employer serious about requiring arbitration should have their employees sign a separate, stand-alone, arbitration agreement.  The outcome of this decision is also an important reminder that employers should have their employee handbooks and other employee documents reviewed from time to time by counsel to ensure compliance with the ever-changing federal and state employment laws.

For assistance preparing your arbitration agreements so that they will be enforceable or for help reviewing your handbook and other employment documents for legal compliance, please contact GH&C’s Labor and Employment Department.


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