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Seamen, Railroad Employees, And Uber Drivers: Applying The Section 1 Exemption In The Federal Arbitration Ace To Rideshare Drivers, Conor Bradley Jan 2021

Seamen, Railroad Employees, And Uber Drivers: Applying The Section 1 Exemption In The Federal Arbitration Ace To Rideshare Drivers, Conor Bradley

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Section 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA or the Act) exempts “seamen, railroad employees, [and] any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce” from arbitration. In 2019, the Supreme Court held in New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira that this provision exempted independent contractors as well as employees. This decision expanded the reach of the section 1 exemption and may affect the relationship between ridesharing companies, such as Uber, and their drivers. Previously, ridesharing companies argued that courts must enforce the arbitration clauses in their employment contracts because their workers were independent contractors and, therefore, section 1 …


The Best Of Times And The Worst Of Times: The Current Landscape Of Mandatory Arbitration Clause Enforcement In Domestic Arbitration, Virginia Neisler Feb 2019

The Best Of Times And The Worst Of Times: The Current Landscape Of Mandatory Arbitration Clause Enforcement In Domestic Arbitration, Virginia Neisler

Law Librarian Scholarship

There is nothing new about arbi­tration, a method of alternative dispute resolution designed to settle disputes more efficiently, cheaper, and faster than litigation. Today, mandatory arbitration clauses are ubiquitous in commercial contracts, social media terms and conditions, employment contracts, and more. These contracts, where one party in the weaker position (often a consumer or an employee) must either accept or reject the terms as written with no power to negotiate, are known as contracts of adhesion. The widespread use of arbitration clauses—specifically, pre­dispute, forced arbitration agreements, often including class­action waiv ers found in adhesion contracts—has come under pressure.


Mandatory Employment Arbitration: Keeping It Fair, Keeping It Lawful, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2010

Mandatory Employment Arbitration: Keeping It Fair, Keeping It Lawful, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

President Obama's election and the Democrats' takeover of Congress, including what was their theoretically filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, have encouraged organized labor and other traditional Democratic supporters to make a vigorous move for some long-desired legislation. Most attention has focused on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). As initially proposed, the EFCA would enable unions to get bargaining rights through signed authorization cards rather than a secret-ballot election, and would provide for the arbitration of first-contract terms if negotiations fail to produce an agreement after four months. The EFCA would apply to the potentially organizable private-sector working population; at …


Arbitration Costs And Forum Accessibility: Empirical Evidence, Christopher R. Drahozal Jul 2008

Arbitration Costs And Forum Accessibility: Empirical Evidence, Christopher R. Drahozal

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In this Article, written for this symposium issue on "Empirical Studies of Mandatory Arbitration," I examine the available empirical evidence on these two questions. I take "mandatory arbitration" to refer to pre-dispute arbitration clauses in consumer and employment (and maybe franchise) contracts. Accordingly, I limit my consideration of the empirical evidence to those types of contracts. I do not discuss empirical studies of international arbitrations, which almost always arise out of agreements between commercial entities. Nor do I discuss empirical studies of court-annexed arbitrations, which may not derive from party agreement and do not ordinarily proceed to a binding award.


Mandatory Arbitration: Why It's Better Than It Looks, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2008

Mandatory Arbitration: Why It's Better Than It Looks, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

"Mandatory arbitration" as used here means that employees must agree as a condition of employment to arbitrate all legal disputes with their employer, including statutory claims, rather than take them to court. The Supreme Court has upheld the validity of such agreements on the grounds that they merely provide for a change of forum and not a loss of substantive rights. Opponents contend this wrongfully deprives employees of the right to a jury trial and other statutory procedural benefits. Various empirical studies indicate, however, that employees similarly situated do about as well in arbitration as in court actions, or even …


The Changing Role Of Labor Arbitration (Symposium: New Rules For A New Game: Regulating Employment Relationships In The 21st Century), Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2001

The Changing Role Of Labor Arbitration (Symposium: New Rules For A New Game: Regulating Employment Relationships In The 21st Century), Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

A quarter century ago, in a provocative and prophetic article, David E. Feller lamented the imminent close of what he described as labor arbitration's "golden age." I have expressed reservations about that characterization, insofar as it suggested an impending shrinkage in the stature of arbitration. But Professor Feller was right on target in one important respect. Labor arbitration was going to change dramatically from the autonomous institution in the relatively self-contained world of union-management relations which it had been from the end of World War II into the 1970s. When the subject matter was largely confined to union-employer agreements, arbitration …


Gilmer In The Collective Bargaining Context, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2001

Gilmer In The Collective Bargaining Context, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Can a privately negotiated arbitration agreement deprive employees of the statutory right to sue in court on claims of discrimination in employment because of race, sex, religion, age, disability, and similar grounds prohibited by federal law? Two leading U.S. Supreme Court decisions, decided almost two decades apart, reached substantially different answers to this questionand arguably stood logic on its head in the process. In the earlier case of Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co., involving arbitration under a collective bargaining agreement, the Court held an adverse award did not preclude a subsequent federal court action by the black grievant alleging racial discrimination. …


Contract Reading' In Labor Arbitration, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2000

Contract Reading' In Labor Arbitration, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

A quarter century ago, I used the phrase "contract reader" to characterize the role an arbitrator plays in construing a collective bargaining agreement. This phrase has almost invariable been misunderstood to refer to reading or interpreting the contract. When I spoke of the "contract reader," it was in the context of judicial review of an award. My point was this: When a court has before it an arbitrator's award applying a collective bargaining agreement, it is as if the employer and the union had signed a stipulation stating: "What the arbitrator says this contract means is exactly what we meant …


Arbitration And Judicial Review, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 2000

Arbitration And Judicial Review, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Other Publications

A quarter century ago, in a presentation at the Academy's annual meeting, I used the phrase "contract reader" to characterize the role an arbitrator plays in construing a collective bargaining agreement. That two-word phrase may be the only thing I ever said before this body that has been remembered. Unfortunately, it is almost invariably misunderstood. Time and again members have reproached me: "What's the big deal about contract reading, anyway? Isn't it just the same as contract interpretation?" Or, more substantively scathing: "Do you really think, Ted, that all you have to do to interpret a labor agreement is to …


Mandatory Arbitration Of Employee Discrimination Claims: Unmitigated Evil Or Blessing In Disguise?, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1998

Mandatory Arbitration Of Employee Discrimination Claims: Unmitigated Evil Or Blessing In Disguise?, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

One of the hottest current issues in employment law is the use of mandatory arbitration to resolve workplace disputes. Typically, an employer will make it a condition of employment that employees must agree to arbitrate any claims arising out of the job, including claims based on statutory rights against discrimination, instead of going to court. On the face of it, this is a brazen affront to public policy. Citizens are being deprived of the forum provided them by law. And indeed numerous scholars and public and private bodies have condemned the use of mandatory arbitration. Yet the insight of that …


Why Mandatory Arbitration May Benefit Workers, Theodore J. St. Antoine Jan 1997

Why Mandatory Arbitration May Benefit Workers, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Would employees-including union employees-be better off with mandatory arbitration, even of statutory employment claims? The answer to this important question should depend less on abstract notions about the importance of statutory claims and the sanctity of the right to a jury trial, and more on a pragmatic assessment of what is likely to be best for the great majority of workers. Employing this type of analysis, which would take into account an overworked, underfunded Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, backlogged court dockets and other practical problems, my view is that most employees might well be better off with mandatory arbitration, provided …


The Federal Arbitration Act And Individual Employment Contracts: A Better Means To An Equally Just End, William F. Kolakowski Iii Jun 1995

The Federal Arbitration Act And Individual Employment Contracts: A Better Means To An Equally Just End, William F. Kolakowski Iii

Michigan Law Review

This Note argues that courts should adopt a narrow reading of the employment contract exception to the FAA, thus making arbitration agreements in most individual employment contracts enforceable under the Act. Part I argues that a textual analysis of the FAA supports a narrow interpretation of the exception. Because some courts and commentators have argued that the text favors a broad interpretation, Part II examines the legislative history of the exception and demonstrates that no firm conclusions can be drawn about congressional intent regarding the exception's scope. Finally, Part III demonstrates that a narrow reading of the exception best serves …


Exploring Voluntary Arbitration Of Individual Employment Disputes, Alfred W. Blumrosen Jan 1983

Exploring Voluntary Arbitration Of Individual Employment Disputes, Alfred W. Blumrosen

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article outlines an arbitration process which may be employed in individual employment contracts to achieve a fair disposition of disputes, with the maximum finality for an arbitration decision which is consistent with legal principles. Where finality is not possible, arbitration would be a condition precedent to formal legal processes. To assure fairness in the process, the employer would agree to pay the arbitrator's fee and the employee's attorney fees incurred in connection with the arbitration.


Judicial Review Of Labor Arbitration Awards: A Second Look At Enterprise Wheel And Its Progeny, Theodore J. St. Antoine May 1977

Judicial Review Of Labor Arbitration Awards: A Second Look At Enterprise Wheel And Its Progeny, Theodore J. St. Antoine

Articles

Logic, so the cliche goes, is not the life of the law. But logic is very much like the DNA of the law-the structural principle without which all is sprawl and muddle. In the last ten years a controversy has raged over the role of the labor arbitrator in issuing awards, and the role of the courts in reviewing and enforcing those awards. This controversy has largely taken the form of a continuing debate among scholars and practicing arbitrators at the annual meetings of the National Academy of Arbitrators. With due respect to the thoughtful and experienced persons who have …