Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ninth Circuit Upholds Validity of Class Action Arbitration Waiver

In an interesting decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Johnmuhammadi v. Bloomingdale’s Inc., 755 F.3d 1072 (9th Cir. 2014), the court held that a waiver of the right to pursue class-action litigtion that was included in an arbitration agreement cannot be attacked on statutory grounds.   The panel concluded that an opt-out provision of the arbitration agreement basically negated the applicability of Norris-LaGuardia or the Labor Act.

Matt Finkin (Illinois) assisted with a brief on rehearing on this important issue.  From the brief, which is attached Here:

"Section 3 of the Norris-LaGuardia directs the federal courts to deny enforcement to 'any promise or undertaking”'(italics added) by which the individual eschews the capacity to join with others to protect or advance her – and their – employment rights; that is, for example, not only to seek a better wage, but also to have the wages paid that are legally due."

"The panel’s apparent assumption is that the right to engage in concerted activity for mutual aid or protection is a private good for the benefit of the individual and so waivable by her. That is not correct. These statutes create publicgoods for the better ordering of society."

This is a beautifully crafted brief on a critical issue in employment law.  I encourage anyone interested in this topic (or anyone teaching labor law this semester) to take a look.

Hat Tip:  Suja Thomas

-- Joe Seiner

| Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Ninth Circuit Upholds Validity of Class Action Arbitration Waiver :


Post a comment