Can an employer create a condition of employment that prohibits an employee from suing in court?  A published Appellate Division decision today says yes.

Paul Jaworski, Alexander Haggis and Robert Holewinski were all employees with Ernst & Young (EY).  In 2002 (with a few later minor amendments), EY instituted a new Human Resources policy that prohibited most types of employment disputes from being brought in court and required use of mediation then arbitration if there was no settlement.  The policy was sent to employees by electronic mail and continued employment with the company signaled the employee’s agreement to the changes.

The three employees were terminated in 2012 and sought to have their age discrimination claims brought in Superior Court rather than in arbitration.  The Superior Court judge dismissed the case on summary judgment upholding EY’s HR policy mandating ADR.  The employees appealed and today the Appellate Division affirmed the dismissal of their case.

For further details, read the opinion.