Arbitration Clauses and Employment Contracts: NO? Maybe.

“A recent decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal involving Uber throws into doubt the enforceability of certain arbitration clauses in employment (and independent contractor) agreements — and potentially consumer and other agreements. The Court found the arbitration clause at issue was invalid due to statutory non-compliance and unconscionability, in part because it required Uber drivers to arbitrate even small claims in the Netherlands…” “[A]rbitration clauses in employment agreements that do not permit employees in Ontario to make complaints to the Ministry of Labour with respect to alleged violations of the ESA are potentially unenforceable. Employers should therefore consider moving quickly to amend arbitration clauses so as not to preclude an employee from seeking remedies under applicable employment standards legislation…”

Summer Danakas, Steven Dickie, Lauren Fric and Allan Wells of Osler’s provide an important summary of Heller v. Uber Technologies Inc., 2019 ONCA 1 in their article “Ontario Court of Appeal hits the brakes on arbitration clauses“.

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