Rep. Kevin Corlew files legislation to facilitate employment arbitration agreements

From the office of Rep. Corlew.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Representative Kevin Corlew filed legislation for the 2016 legislative session to enforce arbitration agreements entered into between employers and at-will employees.

Under the bill, HB 1718, unless the parties have contracted otherwise, an arbitrator would make initial determinations as to arbitrability, including deciding whether the parties have agreed to arbitrate, whether the agreement is enforceable, and whether specific claims should be arbitrated. The bill does not change the judicial-review process now available under the Missouri Arbitration Act once a final arbitration decision is made. Nor would the provisions apply to collective bargaining agreements.

“Rep. Corlew’s bill ensures that employers and employees who have agreed to use arbitration to resolve differences actually use the arbitration process,” said Ray McCarty, president of Associated Industries of Missouri. “This legislation simply requires parties to resolve differences the way they have agreed to resolve them – in a manner that is less expensive for employees and employers. It makes sense and should already be the law.”

Rep. Corlew filed similar legislation last year that was voted out of committee and received first round approval from the House.  “Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution process that is intended to be efficient and fair for all parties involved,” said Corlew, “and this bill allows the process to take place before qualified arbitrators.”

The 2016 legislative session began on Wednesday, January 6.  Representative Corlew resides in Kansas City and represents portions of southeast Platte County and southwest Clay County in the Missouri General Assembly. For any questions, please contact Rep. Corlew’s office at 573-751-3618.