By Sahid Fawaz
This week’s Worst Employer award goes to Guitar Center.
According to the Huffington Post:
“Employees of the music equipment retailer Guitar Center have been told they must sign mandatory arbitration agreements or they will lose their jobs.
The agreement, a copy of which was obtained by The Huffington Post, forces employees to relinquish their rights to sue the company in class action lawsuits over wage violations, workplace discrimination and unjust firings, among other disputes.
Sean Lynch, a sales employee at the company’s Las Vegas store, said he and his colleagues were told they must sign the agreement by end of day Friday or they forfeit their jobs.
‘It was imposed on us and we have absolutely no choice,’ Lynch told HuffPost.
Arbitration agreements have become highly controversial for the way they hamstring employees and weaken their legal power. By sending disputes to an arbitrator, they force workers to pursue their claims individually and outside of court, preempting any collective action. And even though they’re supposed to be neutral third parties, arbitrators are often cozy with the companies that workers are squaring off with, as The New York Times detailed in a recent series.”
Despicable corporate behavior like this makes us wonder what is really going on at the top. Does management have the complete inability to realize that their workers are assets? Mistreatment like this will likely backfire in the long run as employee morale plummets, turnover gets even higher, and customer service suffers.
If you have a local music store in your city, then choose to shop there instead. If Guitar Center is the only game in your town, then consider buying online from its competitors such as Sweetwater.com. Your wallet is your best way to vote against this behavior.
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