Arbitrators Take One More Step Toward Infallibility

Frank Kollman
Frank Kollman
10/08/2019
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review a decision of the Ninth Circuit (http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2018/12/04/16-16363.pdf) allowing an arbitrator to alter the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, despite contract language saying that the arbitrator could not alter the agreement in any way. ASARCO v. Steelworkers , No. 18-1415, Cert denied 10/7/19....
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Arbitrator’s Alleged Bias Against Homosexuals Is Not Grounds to Reverse Award

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
07/26/2019
Recently, a California Court of Appeal rejected a plaintiff/appellant’s claim that his case against his former employer -- which went to arbitration pursuant to their employment agreement -- should be reversed due to the arbitrator’s alleged undisclosed bias against homosexuals.  Bogue v. Anesthesia Service Medical Group, Inc., No. D073518 (Cal. App. 4th Dist. 7/17/19) (unpublished). Dr. Bogue was an anesthesiologist for Anesthesia Service...
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Southern District of New York Sends Sexual Harassment Claim To Arbitration

Vincent Jackson
Vincent Jackson
07/01/2019
A trial judge in the Southern District of New York found that a sexual harassment claim was subject to a mandatory arbitration clause, even though a New York law recently enacted in the wake of the #MeToo movement nullified agreements to arbitrate sexual harassment claims. Latif v. Morgan Stanley, et al., 18-cv-11528-DLC (S.D.N.Y. June 26, 2019). In Latif, a male employee of Morgan Stanley alleged in his federal court complaint that he was sexually...
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“Forced” Arbitration Under Fire

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
03/18/2019
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) in the employment arena has been a hot topic for a couple of decades now.  ADR, of course, comes in a variety of flavors – mediation and arbitration are a couple of them.  But essentially, the ADR concept is to find ways other than a lawsuit in court to resolve claims more quickly and with less expense.  That, at least conceptually, is a good thing, since court fights can take many years to work their way...
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Uber Driver Must Ride Solo: Class Action Waiver Enforced Post Epic Systems

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
06/08/2018
On May 21, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, which we previously discussed at length.  That case, which upheld class action waivers in favor of individual arbitration, forces Gustavo Camilo to individually arbitrate his claim that Uber illegally charged him and other drivers a workers' compensation fee. Just a little more than one week after the Epic Systems decision, the trial judge in Camilo v. Uber Techs....
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A Potentially Epic Alternative To Class-Action Waiver Arbitration Clauses

In the aftermath of Monday’s Supreme Court decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, as discussed on this blog, employers are free to include class-action waivers as part of their arbitration clauses in employment agreements. There is, however, a difference between whether employers can include such clauses and whether all employers should include them.  Some of the assumed benefits of arbitration are that it is less formal, less expensive, and...
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Supreme Court Upholds Individual Arbitration Clauses In Employment Contracts

Mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts are increasingly a fact of workplace life.  What happens, though, when an employee signs an employment agreement requiring that any job-related disputes be submitted to individual arbitration, rather than class- or collective-action lawsuits?  Do longstanding federal labor laws protecting workers’ right to engage in “concerted activities for the purpose of . . . mutual aid or protection”...
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Court Orders Arbitration in FMLA Termination Case

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
10/26/2017
The question of whether and when an employer can compel an employee who is suing it to arbitrate her case rather than proceed in court depends upon the terms of the agreement between the parties.  In Mason v. Athletic & Therapeutic Inst. of Naperville, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173046 (S.D. Ind. Oct. 19, 2017), a federal district court told the former employee of an Indiana sports therapy clinic that arbitration is the proper forum for her...
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Seventh Circuit Sides with NLRB on Arbitration Agreements, Creates Circuit Split

Randi Klein Hyatt
Randi Klein Hyatt
06/02/2016
In a surprising decision for atypically business-friendly appellate court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has sided with the National Labor Relations Board’s position that a mandatory agreement requiring employees to waive the right to bring a class or collective action in arbitration violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  Lewis v. Epic Systems Corporation, No. 15-2997 (7th Cir. May 26, 2016). Epic...
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Strange Bedfellows in SCOTUS Arbitration Ruling

Darrell VanDeusen
Darrell VanDeusen
12/15/2015
In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court has decided that satellite television customers are required to individually arbitrate their disputes with the provider, DirecTV. The Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts the use of a California state law that said such a provision was unenforceable. DirecTV, Inc. v. Imburgia, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 7999 (Dec. 14, 2015). The decision, which will apply equally to employment and commercial contracts,...
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