February 27, 2014

In keeping with Missouri courts' increasingly narrow view of enforcing arbitration agreements in the employment arena, the Missouri Court of Appeals in Baier v. Darden Restaurants on February 25, 2014 upheld the trial court's decision finding that no valid arbitration agreement existed because both parties did not sign the bilateral contract. Arbitration clauses, which require parties resolve their disputes through an arbitration process and outside of the courtroom, are an extremely useful tool for employers and can be an effective method of reducing the cost of long trials and lowering the risk of "runaway" juries. However, in light of this and other recent decisions by the Missouri courts regarding arbitration agreements in the employment context, employers must draft and execute arbitration agreements precisely and in accordance with Missouri case law to ensure enforceability.

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