Negotiating Employment Contracts in Georgia
Wage-and-hour lawsuits may be a thing of the pastBy Benjy Schirm, J.D. | Last updated on January 29, 2023
Use these links to jump to different sections:opinion that held that companies may use arbitration or dispute resolution clauses in employment contracts to prohibit workers from banding together to take legal action over workplace issues. A blow to employee rights. “Our view is that it will likely have the effect that AT&T v. Concepcion case had concerning consumer contracts,” says Atlanta class action employment law attorney Adam Hoipkemier. “Employment defense lawyers and law firms are coming out with products aimed at assisting employers with rewriting their employment agreement with arbitration clauses and class waivers. That trend is likely to escalate.” These mandatory arbitration clauses do not mean that a claim doesn’t have the possibility to be heard. But it does control how a case can be heard. Arbitration still offers an opportunity for both sides of a dispute to be heard, and agreements in arbitration can be substantial. But arbitrations take time, and hiring attorneys could be expensive—maybe too expensive when you’re just looking to collect a small amount for an employer.
What Does This Mean for Employees?Employees won’t be able to bring their claims in court, or as a class action—which a lot of these wage-and-hour cases are. The damages are typically not enough to bring an individual lawsuit, so, often, your only relief was through a class action. “The effect is that you’re left without a remedy for wage-and-hour claims, and other claims, that would be brought up in a class action,” says Hoipkemier. “In a nutshell, people are basically out of luck.” Employees need to be mindful of the small print, and try to negotiate where they can; anything can be negotiable. “Folks need to be aware up front of the fact that employers are including these things in their contracts, and to try to get them to negotiate it out,” says legal counsel Hoipkemier If contracts don’t have these clauses, and you’re experiencing wage-and-hour losses, you should reach out to a reputable and experienced class action lawyer. If and/or when you are presented with a Georgia employment contract, it’s always best to have your legal issues reviewed by a reputable and experienced contract attorney. For more information about this area, see our overviews on employment law for employees and wage and hour laws.
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