Select Page

How key is it for an employer in Ohio or elsewhere to ensure that its contracts – every one of them, ranging across the universe of business matters – are drafted with precision and completely devoid of ambiguities?

The answer to that is obvious, of course. The fortunes of businesses often rise or fall dependent on the agreements they negotiate and execute with parties ranging from company shareholders, customers and suppliers to lenders, contractors, employees and more.

A recent national business article duly notes that current cases on the U.S. Supreme Court’s docket “show how important it is to draft an agreement clearly.” We take a look at those immediately below. They both spotlight arbitration disputes.

The first centers on a company’s dispute with an employee alleging a right to commence a class-action claim in an arbitration proceeding. The contract before the court states that “arbitration shall be in lieu of any and all lawsuits or other civil legal proceedings.” The document does not make any mention of whether a claim must be brought as an individual.

The second case pits a trucking company against long-haul truckers classified as independent contractors. The company’s argument to the court stresses that the truckers cannot take a grievance to court but, rather, must proceed through arbitration. The drivers claim that their employment contracts contain an exception for interstate truckers that overrides their contractor status and allows them to take material legal disputes directly to court for resolution. For obvious reasons, notes the above-cited article, the case should be notably interesting “to any businesses that are in the trucking industry or use independent contractors as drivers.”

We’ll keep readers timely apprised of case outcomes and any other business-linked decisions forthcoming from the court’s current term.