Many attorneys we work with have reported an awful scam going around from maritime employers to their employees. The employer will offer an employee “benefit” to employees who have been with the company for a length period of time. This “benefit” is called a stock unit agreement or incentive compensation plan or something along those lines. Employees are advised of this plan via letter and told to go to a web site to get their earned reward.
The electronic document ultimately generated by the web site has a lot of really nice language in it where the company will award its employee stock, etc. It sounds like a great employee incentive program until you get to some very hidden language about terms and conditions.
Basically, if the employee accepts the stock options/benefits being offered, one of the terms and conditions of acceptance involves an arbitration agreement that is buried in the document. If you accept these benefits, you will BIND yourself to this hidden arbitration agreement which covers and and ALL disputes arising from your employment. BEWARE! You waive your right to a jury trial in state or federal court and allow this arbitration agreement to serve as the sole means of resolving your dispute (specifically spelling out Jones Act claims are included).
If you or someone you know has signed on for this scam, please call Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers and find out your rights.