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Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Puts Hold on Mandatory Arbitration Permission

Volume 2, Issue 2
March 19, 2003

In Volume 1, Issue 9 of our Employer Report, we informed you of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' long-awaited decision allowing mandatory arbitration of discrimination claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In its September 3, 2002 decision in EEOC v. Luce, Forward & Hamilton, & Scripps, Nos. 00-57222 & 01-55321 (9th Cir. September 3, 2002), the court overruled its prior ban of such mandatory arbitration in Duffield v. Robertson Stephens & Co., 144 F.3d 1182 (9th Cir. 1998).

However, on February 7, 2003, the Ninth Circuit Court decided to have the en banc court rehear the EEOC v. Luce, Forward case. This essentially means that the Chief Judge and ten additional judges will reexamine the case, and render a new decision. In so doing, the Court withdrew the September 3, 2002 opinion, holding it cannot be cited as precedent. EEOC v. Luce, Forward & Hamilton, & Scripps, Nos. 00-57222 & 01-55321 (9th Cir. February 7, 2003).

This latest development is disappointing, and again casts a shadow over enforcement of mandatory arbitration provisions in sex, race, national origin, and religious discrimination cases. As noted in our original Dispatch on this issue, employers should continue to watch developments in this area.

Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.