November 19, 2009Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Conflict and Dispute ResolutionRush McKnight Labor Law Lecture Case Western Reserve University School of LawSpeaker:Theodore J. St. AntoineJames E. and Sarah A. Degan Professor of Law EmeritusUniversity of Michigan Law SchoolSummary:Agreements requiring employees to arbitrate all disputes with their employers, including statutory claims, instead of taking them to court, have become highly controversial. As a condition of getting or keeping a job, employees must waive their right to go before a judge and jury to pursue their cases. Yet in addition to saving the employer high litigation costs and devastating jury awards, so-called mandatory arbitration may give ordinary lower-paid employees the only practical means of enforcing their job rights. Courts are increasingly insisting on due process safeguards in these systems. Practitioners in the employment field should know about the pros and cons of mandatory arbitration agreements, and about the fast-moving legal developments concerning their validity.