Ralphs to clarify arbitration clause

From Times Staff and Wires

Ralphs Grocery Co. agreed to clarify the scope of its employee arbitration program as part of a $70,000 settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency said.

The Compton-based unit of Kroger Co. will pay that money to former Chicago employee Doris Martinez.

Ralphs sued Martinez in 2003 after she filed a discrimination claim with the Illinois Department of Human Rights, allegedly in violation of the arbitration clause printed on her job application.

"The arbitration clause used language that was excessively broad," Chicago EEOC attorney Deborah Hamilton said. The new language tells workers they have the right to file employment claims with federal and state agencies.

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