California legal paper makes its journalists agree not to file work-related lawsuits

Letter to Romenesko
From a Los Angeles/San Francisco Daily Journal staffer: Our bread and butter – what we write about day in and day out [at the Daily Journal] – are lawsuits.write Lawsuits that are in the public sphere, that anyone can find out about even if they are not publicized.

Another thing we report on regularly are how businesses are using mandatory arbitration provisions to prevent their employees from filing lawsuits. This is a big problem for a newspaper that depends on lawsuits to fill its pages.

So it with huge angst and anger that the Daily Journal has now implemented the exact same employment provision that undermines the reporters’ ability to do their job. If the reporters here want to keep their job, they must agree to waive their right to file a lawsuit and pursue any complaints in a CONFIDENTIAL arbitration proceeding. For a legal newspaper, this turn of events has me — and everyone at the paper — in disbelief.

I’ve invited the Daily Journal editor and human resources manager to respond.

* Here’s what Daily Journal staffers have to sign to keep their jobs (Google Drive)