PRE-DISPUTE, FINAL AND BINDING ARBITRATION AGREEMENT
1. Agreement. This is an Agreement between you (Employee) and Redacted to decide certain kinds of disputes (the “Covered Disputes,” listed in more detail below) between us by arbitration and not by lawsuits or other means. Arbitration is generally defined as the submission of disputes to one or more impartial persons for final and binding determination. The arbitrator decides the outcome. Usually the decision is final and binding on the parties. By agreeing to arbitration for the Covered Disputes, you are giving up the right to a judge or jury, and the right to sue Redacted and/or it owners, officers, managers or directors in a court of law.
2. Arbitration as Factor in Hiring & Retention. Your agreement to arbitrate the Covered Disputes is a key part of our decision to hire you and/or to continue to employ you. We will not hire you or retain you if you do not agree to arbitrate the Covered Disputes. If you are a current employee, then by signing this agreement, you agree to submit for resolution any and all previously unasserted claims, disputes or controversies arising out of or relating to the employee’s application or candidacy for employment, employment and/or cessation of employment with Redacted
3. Arbitration Pursuant to AAA Rules. You agree that you will submit Covered Disputes for arbitration to the American Arbitration Association (AAA) or to an arbitrator approved by them. The AAA’s National Rules shall govern the arbitration for the Resolution of Employment Disputes. In the event an AAA approved arbitration is not available, the arbitration will be presided over by a professional arbitrator with at least five years experience as an arbitration in employment disputes.
4. Covered Disputes. You agree to mandatory binding arbitration if the claim or group of claims involves one or more of the following:
A. At least $15,000.00 in monetary damages;
B. A claim for equitable relief;
C. A common-law claim of discrimination, harassment or unequal or unfair treatment, whether legal, equitable or otherwise;
D. A claim based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual harassment, age, handicap or marital status, including but not limited to claims based on the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, as amended from time to time;
E. Claims based on race, color, gender, religion, sex and national origin, sexual harassment, ethnicity, including but not limited to claims based on the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 (title VII), as amended in 1991 and as may be subsequently amended form time to time;
F. A claim based on age and/or age discrimination, including claims based on the Age Discrimination in Employment Act;
G. A claim based on sex-based discrimination in pay, including claims based on the Equal Pay Act of 1963;
H. Claims based on wage and hour disputes, including overtime claims and including claims based on the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended from time to time;
I. A claim or reprisal or retaliation;
J. A claim based on or relating to compensation per The Portal to Portal Act;
K. A claim based on a disability, including claims based on the Americans with Disabilities Act;
L. A claim based on the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act;
M. Claims based on pregnancy, including claims based on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act;
N. A claim of whistle blowing, including claims based on the Florida Private Sector Whistleblower’s Protection Act, Chapter 448.101-448.105, as amended from time to time;
O. A claim against an officer, owner, manager or director of Redacted ;
P. A claim based on plant closings and mass layoffs, including claims based on the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN);
Q. A claim brought by more than five employees, including class actions and regardless of the subject matter, as long as the amount at issue reasonably exceeds $15,000.00;
R. A civil claim of negligence, gross negligence, battery, false imprisonment, kidnaping, assault, defamation, intention infliction of emotional distress or invasion of privacy;
S. A claim relating to leave benefits, including a claim based on the Family & Medical Leave Act.
5. Partial Enforcement of this Agreement. In the event any part of this Agreement is held unenforceable, the parties request that the Court interpret the remaining, enforceable provisions in a manner consistent with the intent of this Agreement.
6. Miscellaneous. This Agreement does not limit the recovery of damages that would otherwise be available in a judicial forum. Redacted and employee will equally share all costs for arbitration. All disputes referred to arbitration and the statute of limitations and the remedies for any wrongs that may be found shall be governed by the law of Florida and by Federal statuary decisional law. The place of arbitration shall be Ocala, FL. The parities consent to the personal jurisdiction of the state and federal courts of Ocala, FL with respect to any dispute arising out of or otherwise related to this Agreement. Each arbitrator shall be neutral, independent, disinterested and impartial and shall abide by the Cannons of Ethics of the American Bar Association for neutral independent arbitrators. An arbitrator shall be subject to disqualification if an appointing party, either before or after the appointment, asks for the views of the arbitration or makes an ex-parte disclosure of significant facts or theories beyond what is appropriate for the arbitrator’s conflict check and revelation of his qualifications and availability for the case. There shall be no ex-parte communications with an arbitrator either before or during the arbitration relating to the dispute or the issues involved in the dispute or the arbitrator’s views on any such issues. Arbitration may proceed with an ex-parte hearing when a party having notice of the hearing fails to appear.
I have been given a fair opportunity to review this Agreement and, by signing my name below, am indicating that I consent to the terms of this agreement.
Printed Name of Employee: _______________________________________
Signature of Employee: __________________________________________ Dated:_________________
Authorized Representative of Redacted Printed Name
Authorized Representative of Redacted Signature