The purpose of these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is to summarize certain terms of the Arbitration Agreement between you and the Company1. You must read the Arbitration Agreement itself to understand how it works. If you have questions about the Arbitration Agreement, ask a lawyer. The Company is unable to provide legal advice.
General Questions About Arbitration
What is arbitration?
Arbitration is a dispute resolution process in which people agree to have a neutral arbitrator resolve a dispute between them instead of going to court. Arbitration is a less formal process than going to court. Claims can be resolved more quickly and less expensively than in court.
Can we choose anyone to be the arbitrator?
You and the Company can jointly select a neutral arbitrator. The arbitrator must be either an attorney with experience in the subject matter of the dispute and licensed to practice law where the arbitration is conducted or a retired federal or state court judge who presided in the jurisdiction where the arbitration is conducted. If the Parties cannot agree, either Party may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction with authority over the location where the arbitration will be conducted to appoint a neutral arbitrator.
Who pays for arbitration?
It depends upon who initiates the claim. If the Company initiates the claim, it will pay all costs of the arbitration. If you initiate the claim, you will contribute the lesser of the filing fee required by the arbitration provider or the filing fee to initiate a claim in the court of general jurisdiction in the state where you sought employment (if you were an applicant only) or where you are or were last employed by the Company, with the Company making up the difference. Other than the amount of the filing fee, the Company will pay for the arbitrator and the administrative costs of the arbitration.
Do I need a lawyer to arbitrate my claim?
No, you are not required to have a lawyer in arbitration. You may have a lawyer if you want.
If I choose to hire a lawyer, how will my lawyer be paid?
If you choose to use a lawyer to help you arbitrate, generally you will be responsible for paying your lawyer’s fees in the first instance. There are some circumstances in which the law requires the Company to pay your legal fees if you win in the arbitration. You will have the same right to an award of attorney’s fees in arbitration as you would have had in court.
Where will the arbitration be held?
The arbitration will take place in the county where the applicant applied or the Associate works (or last worked) for Dollar Tree, unless both parties agree to another location.
How will I be able to gather evidence for my case?
Both you and the Company have the right to conduct some discovery in arbitration consistent with the procedures set forth in the arbitration agreement.
How is arbitration started?
You or the Company may start arbitration by mailing a written “Demand for Arbitration” to the other party as soon as possible after the claim arises and by no later than the legal deadlines which would apply in court. The mailing must be sent by Certified or Registered Mail, return receipt requested. Notice of a claim against the Company must be sent to the Dollar Tree/Family Dollar Arbitration Program, c/o the Chief Legal Officer at 500 Volvo Parkway, Chesapeake, VA 23320. The notice must identify and describe the nature of the claims being made, the facts upon which the claims are based and the relief or remedy sought, including the monetary value of the amount in controversy. A Demand for Arbitration form can be found on www.dtarbitration.com
What is mediation? How is it different than arbitration?
At the time the arbitration process starts, the parties will discuss whether they want to participate in non-binding mediation. Mediation is another type of dispute resolution process that is even less formal than arbitration. In mediation, the parties meet with a neutral mediator as soon as a dispute arises, and they try to resolve the issue promptly by mutual agreement. Neither party is required to agree to mediation. Neither party is required to accept the mediator’s recommendation of how to resolve the dispute. If mediation is not agreed to and successful, then the dispute will be arbitrated. Dollar Tree will pay the cost of the mediator and the administrative costs of mediation.
If Dollar Tree wants to sue me, can it go to court?
In general, no. The Company is also bound by the Arbitration Agreement. The Arbitration Agreement does, however, provide certain limited circumstances that permit either you or the Company to go to court. For example, either you or the Company may pursue claims in small claims court or seek temporary equitable relief in court to aid the arbitration process.
Questions About Which Claims Are Covered By The Arbitration Agreement
What disputes are covered by the Arbitration Agreement?
The Arbitration Agreement requires arbitration of all disputes between you and Dollar Tree arising out of or related to your application for employment, employment or its termination, except as described below or in the Arbitration Agreement. Disputes subject to arbitration include disputes between you and Dollar Tree as well as its officers, directors, employees, or agents. This also includes disputes between you and Dollar Tree’s benefit plans or the plans’ sponsors, fiduciaries, administrators, affiliates and agents. You must read the Arbitration Agreement itself to understand how it works.
Disputes that must be arbitrated include, but are not limited to:
- Overtime, misclassification as to exempt status, breaks, meal periods, expense reimbursement, pay for bank runs, off-the-clock work, unpaid wages or other compensation;
- Work conditions, including seating;
- Retaliation or discrimination;
- Breach of contract or torts;
- Benefit plans (with certain exceptions described below);
- Intellectual property, trade secrets, or confidential information.
What disputes are not covered by the Arbitration Agreement?
The Arbitration Agreement does not cover certain claims related to your employment with Dollar Tree. You must read the Arbitration Agreement itself to understand how it works. Examples include:
- A court action for temporary equitable relief in aid of arbitration, where available by law;
- Claims for worker’s compensation or unemployment compensation benefits;
- Claims that as a matter of controlling law cannot be subject to arbitration;
- Claims for employee benefits under any benefit plan sponsored by Dollar Tree that is either (a) covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 or (b) funded by insurance;
- Claims brought before, and remedies awarded by, an administrative agency if applicable law permits the agency to adjudicate the claim notwithstanding the existence of an agreement to arbitrate. Such administrative claims include claims or charges brought before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, or the National Labor Relations Board.
Questions About Waiving Class and Collective Actions
Can I file, or participate in, a class action or collective action in arbitration?
No. The Arbitration Agreement provides that claims in arbitration can only proceed on an individual basis. You cannot file or participate in a class or collective action in arbitration.
Questions About Waiving The Right To A Jury Trial
Does the agreement to arbitrate waive my right to a jury trial?
Yes. The Agreement provides that disputes are to be resolved by a single arbitrator. Both you and Dollar Tree are waiving the right to a judge or jury trial.
Can I decide which claims will go to arbitration and which claims I will file in court?
No. If you agree to arbitration, then with just a few exceptions (listed in the Agreement) both you and Dollar Tree must arbitrate any claim.
Why do I have to waive my right to a jury trial under the arbitration agreement?
An arbitrator, not a court or jury, will decide the case. One of the reasons arbitration typically costs less than a jury trial is that the preparation and proceedings for a jury trial are normally much more expensive and time consuming than for arbitration. If one of the parties could decide to go to court instead of arbitration, the benefits of arbitration would be lost.
Questions About Limited Rights To Appeal In Arbitration
TOP OF PAGE
Can I appeal an arbitrator’s decision?
Both you and Dollar Tree have only a very limited right to appeal an arbitrator’s decision. In most cases, the arbitrator’s decision is final and cannot be appealed. You should consult an attorney with any specific questions about your appeal rights.
1 “The Company” or “Dollar Tree” means Dollar Tree, Inc. and any of its direct or indirect subsidiaries organized under the laws of the United States or a state or jurisdiction of the United States, including but not limited to Family Dollar Stores, Inc., Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., Dollar Tree Distribution, Inc., Dollar Tree Management, Inc., or Greenbrier International, Inc.
Revised effective 10/21/20