Mandatory work-reconciliation agreements are procedurally unacceptable when they are imposed on workers as a condition of employment and there is no possibility for the worker to negotiate with the employer. Id. at 115. The California Supreme Court has found that most employees suffer from economic pressure to sign such agreements because they are unable to refuse employment because of the arbitration obligation, and that, while arbitration has its advantages in terms of major shipping, information and lower costs, it has a potential disadvantage for the employee because it reduces the size of the distinction an employee can obtain, especially if the employer is a “decision-makers” in arbitration proceedings. In other words, the arbitration agreement applied only to the rights that the worker could assert against the employer, with the exception of worker`s allowances and unemployment benefit entitlements that were not collected under any circumstances because they are subject to separate statutory adjudication bodies. Mr. Finlan was surprised by the obligation to sign a contract, but he had time to check the contract at home before signing it. Eventually, he provided Ritchie Bros with the signed contract before starting with them. Five years later, Ritchie Bros. terminated Mr. Finlan`s hiring. He complained of unlawful dismissal and demanded compensation instead of dismissal under general labour law.
He found that the termination clause in the employment contract was not acceptable and therefore was not applicable. The arbitration agreement required, among other things, the parties to settle claims for contract and indecision, legal claims of discrimination and claims for violations of laws and/or regulations. However, the arbitration agreement excluded work allowances and unemployment benefits. It also excluded any request for omission arising from alleged unfair competition and disclosure of confidential information. Therefore, employers who require new employees to sign arbitration agreements should ensure that the agreement is not unacceptable.