Guitar Center is at it again, bullying employees into signing an agreement that would strip them of the right to sue the company in class action lawsuits over wage violations, workplace discrimination and unjust firings, among other disputes, according to the Huffington Post.
Employees at the Las Vegas store were told that they had to sign the agreement by the end of Friday or their jobs would be terminated.
Arbitration is a tactic used my many big companies today to keep down the legal costs that a court case may involve during a dispute. Instead the case is referred to a third party arbitrator for settlement.
While on the surface that might seem fair, many times the arbitrator maintains a cozy relationship with the company, resulting in favorable rulings, as outlined by an article in the New York Times. The big difference here is that GC is requiring employees to sign the agreement after they've been hired, while usually the agreement is signed when they're first hired.
Keep in mind that GC is still involved in a labor dispute with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union regarding 3 GC stores electing to unionize, but the company failing to reach a contract agreement with any of them. A decision hasn't been issued by the arbitrator in that case yet.
While its unclear whether Guitar Center's current actions violate a law since the court has ruled multiple ways in the past, the union is considering additional legal actions.
Things just get worse for GC employees, which means that it won't get any better for customers either.