Category Archives: Arbitration

Blog arti­cles on: Arbi­tra­tion issues, espe­cial­ly relat­ing to enforce­abil­i­ty of arbi­tra­tion agree­ments, and The Fed­er­al Arbi­tra­tion Act (9 USC 1).Here is a list of our blog arti­cles on this cat­e­go­ry:

WV Supreme Court Enforces Employment Arbitration Agreement in Clites v. Clawges, 10–13-09

10–13-09: The West Vir­ginia Supreme Court addressed the enforce­abil­i­ty of employ­ment arbi­tra­tion agree­ments in State ex rel. Clites v. Clawges, 224 W. Va. 299, 685 S.E.2d 693 (2009) (opin­ion at Findlaw’s web site). This Clites deci­sion is dis­cussed in my chart of West Vir­ginia Supreme Court deci­sions.

Clites Goes To Work For TeleTech And Signs An Arbi­tra­tion Agree­ment

WV Capitol Building The plain­tiff, Jill Clites, went to work for TeleTech in Octo­ber 2004 as a Cus­tomer Ser­vice Rep­re­sen­ta­tive. Dur­ing new employ­ee ori­en­ta­tion, Clites met with a human resources rep­re­sen­ta­tive for about 90 to 120 min­utes, dur­ing which time Clites reviewed and signed a large num­ber of doc­u­ments relat­ed to the ori­en­ta­tion. In the record before the West Vir­ginia Supreme Court, there were dis­putes over whether indi­vid­ual doc­u­ments were dis­cussed with Clites and whether she was required to sing all the doc­u­ments dur­ing the ori­en­ta­tion ses­sion, but it appears that dur­ing that ses­sion Clites signed an arbi­tra­tion agree­ment which TeleTech required of most or all new employ­ees.

Clites remained employed at TeleTech until July 12, 2007, when she was ter­mi­nat­ed. She then filed suit for sex­u­al harass­ment and retal­i­a­tion. Clites alleged she com­plained about the sex­u­al harass­ment, that TeleTech failed to take appro­pri­ate cor­rec­tive action, and that TeleTech retal­i­at­ed against her for the com­plaint by fir­ing her.

Clites Files Suit In West Vir­ginia Cir­cuit Court

Clites filed suit in West Vir­ginia Cir­cuit Court in Mor­gan­town. TeleTech then invoked the arbi­tra­tion agree­ment by fil­ing a motion to dis­miss the law­suit and by fil­ing a sep­a­rate law­suit in fed­er­al court argu­ing that Clites waived her rights to a jury tri­al by sign­ing the arbi­tra­tion agree­ment. In essence, TeleTech argued that Clites gave up her rights to file suit and to a jury tri­al by sign­ing the arbi­tra­tion agree­ment, and that her only rem­e­dy was to file an arbi­tra­tion pro­ceed­ing (with the Amer­i­can Arbi­tra­tion Asso­ci­a­tion) pur­suant to the arbi­tra­tion agree­ment.

Con­tin­ue read­ing WV Supreme Court Enforces Employ­ment Arbi­tra­tion Agree­ment in Clites v. Clawges, 10–13–09

Arbitration Agreements in Union Contacts are Enforceable; US Supreme Court in Penn Plaza v. Pyett

USSupremeCourtRightFountain 4/1/09: The US Supreme Court ruled that “pre-dis­pute arbi­tra­tion agree­ments” in col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ments (union con­tracts) are enforce­able, in Penn Plaza PLLC v. Pyett, 129 S. Ct. 1456 (2009) (5–4 deci­sion).

This was an age dis­crim­i­na­tion case under the Age Dis­crim­i­na­tion in Employ­ment Act of 1967 (ADEA). The plain­tiff was a mem­ber of a union, and the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment (union con­tract) required sub­mit­ting age dis­crim­i­na­tion claims to bind­ing arbi­tra­tion.

The US Supreme Court had pre­vi­ous­ly ruled, but not in a labor union set­ting, that arbi­tra­tion agree­ments for ADEA claims were enforce­able under the Fed­er­al Arbi­tra­tion Act, 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq. (Gilmer v. Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp., 500 U.S. 20, 26–33 (1991)). So the real issue in Penn Plaza was whether there would be a dif­fer­ent result because of the union con­tract set­ting and the Nation­al Labor Rela­tions Act.

Con­tin­ue read­ing Arbi­tra­tion Agree­ments in Union Con­tacts are Enforce­able; US Supreme Court in Penn Plaza v. Pyett