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Report Says Lowe’s Requires Employees to Sign Arbitration Agreements

Lowe’s is requiring its salaried managers and assistant managers to sign binding arbitration agreements or possibly lose their bonuses, the HuffPost reports.

The contract prevents employees from pursuing legal action against the big-box retailer in court or joining any class-action lawsuits against the company. Instead, employees would have to meet with an arbitrator privately to discuss any potential legal challenges, according to the article.

The contract stipulates that declining to sign could render employees ineligible for the company’s 2018 Manager Bonus Program and potentially affect “continued employment at Lowe’s,” HuffPost reports.

It is unknown whether hourly employees will have to sign the contracts or why the company has introduced an arbitration clause, the article says.

“The bonuses for Lowe’s store managers are based in part on store performance and can be worth several thousand dollars apiece,” the article says.

Workers at Lowe’s and other companies have claimed that employers incorrectly classify them as managers to exclude them from the Fair Labor Standards Act, preventing them from receiving minimum wage and overtime protections. Managers have, in the past, taken these employers to court for these issues, HuffPo reports.

In 2014, Lowe’s agreed to pay $9.5 million to some of its human resources managers to settle allegations of “misclassifying workers as managers so they could work well beyond 40 hours a week without any additional pay,” the article says.

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