Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In post-Pyett ruling, union member who chose to arbitrate must do so

Mathews v Denver Newspaper Agency, LLP, __F.Supp. 2d___ (D. Colo. May 4, 2009), is one of the first post-Pyett rulings and therefore, this case should be looked at carefully by all who practice in this area. the court holds that a union member who voluntarily submitted his Title VII and Sec. 1981 discrimination and retaliation claims to binding arbitration pursuant to the arbitration provisions of a collective bargaining agreement waived his right to seek a judicial remedy.
This was really an easy case for the court. The plaintiff chose to arbitrate his claim under the bargaining agreement even though the contract allowed him the option of directly pursuing litigation of his statutory discrimination claims. He only filed suit after the arbitrator ruled against him. Because he had a choice of forum under the union contract, the bargaining agreement was not a waiver of his substantive rights under Pyett, the court held. And because the arbitrator ruled against him, the plaintiff’s claims were now barred by res judicata.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

Arbitration Law | Permalink

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