Can I alter an arbitration agreement without telling my employer?

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Can I alter an arbitration agreement without telling my employer?

My employer is forcing mandatory arbitration agreements requiring that they be

signed and turned into HR by the end of the month, as well as signing that it was

completely voluntary and no undue pressure was placed on me to sign it. If I alter the wording of the arbitration agreement without telling my employer and they also sign it, is it valid in court? For example, if I write it to make the agreement invalid or that my employer must pay a certain amount of money if they terminate my employment for any reason. Normally, I would not try to be so sneaky but I feel that my employer has already crossed the line by forcing me to say that they weren’t forcing me. Also, they have the opportunity to read it but they probably won’t though.

Asked on November 14, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, you may not surreptitiously alter the agreement; if you do, it will NOT be valid in court. An agreement, to be enforceable, requires both sides to agree--even if reluctantly or under protest--to the terms, which means "sneaky" rewrites slipped in there, since the other side will not see or review them, will not be ones that the other side agreed to; hence, they will not be valid or enforceable.
An employer has the right to give employees unpalatable agreemens to sign; the employee's only recourse is to decide whether they are wiling to quit rather than sign.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If  you alter the terms of the arbitration agreement without your employer's knowledge , you will be sued for fraud. The arbitration agreement with your altered terms will be invalid, and will be a defense to enforcement on the part of your employer. The court will reject a fraudulent document. You will probably be fired when the fraud is discovered, and will be denied unemployment compensation for misconduct.


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