Arbitration Agreements And Class Action Waivers

No, certain types of claims should not be subject to arbitration. Non-waiver rights under workers` compensation and unemployment benefits legislation should not be subject to arbitration. In addition, an arbitration agreement should not prohibit a staff member from filing administrative fees with most government authorities such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The agreement may require the employee to settle his or her own case through arbitration and not by the courts, but it cannot prevent the employee from filing a charge, investigation and possible enforcement by the competent authority. Arbitration agreements and class action waivers are powerful risk management instruments that employers should consider, but are not a one-size-fits-all solution. In particular, the agreement required staff to submit to binding arbitration for “all claims that may be brought before the courts or an administrative authority,” with a few exceptions. The Appellate Body found that the existence of certain exceptions and the absence of class action within those exceptions indicated that the employer did not want to prevent the class action. The agreement also contained the American Arbitration Association`s rules for labor disputes that allow class arbitration. These two factors, invoked by the arbitrator, were sufficient for the Fifth Circle to confirm the arbitral award. Lamps Plus appealed the decision and argued that the arbitration agreement was only an individual arbitration proceeding; The 9th Court of Appeal disagreed.

While the arbitration agreement itself did not explicitly mention class arbitration, the 9th Circuit concluded that the arbitration agreement could reasonably be read in such a way that it included or excluded class action proceedings and was therefore ambiguous. . . .