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Arbitration Agreements

Connecticut Arbitration 

An employee’s ability to have legal disputes heard and resolved in a court of law is an important right. Unfortunately, employers have been chipping away at this right for years by requiring employees to submit to a practice called mandatory arbitration. This term, frequently slipped into a lengthy employment agreement or employee handbook, has the result of constraining employee’s legal rights. Employees often must agree to arbitration in order to keep their jobs – and may not even realize they are losing the right to be heard in court. 

What Is Arbitration?

Arbitration is a way for parties to resolve disputes outside of the court system. Rather than bringing a complaint in court, the parties bring their legal claims to a private arbitrator.

There are many differences between a party’s rights in court and their rights in arbitration. The following terms will help you understand some of these differences.

Discovery is when parties are able to collect information about their claims. A party’s right to discovery is usually limited in arbitration.


Paid by one or both parties to the disagreement. The arbitrator may not be an attorney, and may not be knowledgeable about the area of law that the case concerns.


If the arbitrator mis-applies the law, or a party disagrees with their decision, they may not have any right to appeal as they would in a court of law.


Class Actions
Many mandatory arbitration clauses ban employees from joining together to assert their rights jointly – a crucial tool for employees seeking to protect their rights. 


Arbitration is often confidential, preventing the public from learning about potential legal violations.

Employment Contracts

Arbitration Agreements

Confidentiality Agreements

Non-Compete Agreements

Severance Agreements

Mandatory Arbitration Harms Employees

The attorneys at Hawks Quindel have a history of fighting the enforceability of arbitration agreements, as they frequently harm employees’ interests. Arbitration was developed as a way for parties on equal footing, such as two corporations, to resolve disputes efficiently. But that initial purpose has been distorted as the use of arbitration expands. In 2010, about one-third of the non-union workforce, or 36 million employees, were subject to mandatory arbitration agreements with their employer. Mandatory arbitration is bad for employees because it takes what should be public concerns – an employer possibly engaged in wage theft, a discrimination dispute, a company’s failure to pay overtime – and shrouds the legal investigation into those claims in secrecy. Rather than giving employees their day in court to vindicate their legal rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act or anti-discrimination laws, mandatory arbitration clauses push these disputes into a private proceeding that may lack the safeguards of the law.

Many employees may not even realize they have no right to bring a dispute to court. Some courts have held that by simply continuing to show up to work, without ever signing an arbitration agreement, an employee has agreed to be bound by it.

As a general matter, if employees are given the option to opt-out of an arbitration agreement, they should exercise that option. However, it is far more likely that an employee will be required to sign the arbitration agreement as a condition of continued employment. 

If your employer asks you to sign a mandatory arbitration agreement, make sure you understand exactly what the document means, and what the long-term consequences may be, before you sign it. Our attorneys can help to navigate the complex questions arising in arbitration agreements and can explain them to you, in plain language. 

Contact The Dunn Law Firm

If you are faced with a new arbitration agreement, or are facing mandatory arbitration after bringing a lawsuit against your employer, the attorneys at Hawks Quindel can help you navigate your arbitration agreement and the arbitration process, to determine if the agreement is enforceable and how best to proceed moving forward based on your goals.

Please contact the Dunn Law Firm at (203) 903-7650

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(203) 903-7650

Dunn and Associates

Connecticut Office Address
By Appointment Only

Post Office Box 4124
Madison, Connecticut 06443


Contact us today for a free consultation.

(203) 903-7650

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