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Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:47 am

Court, not arbitrator, must decide whether arbitration agreement is unconscionable, 9th Circuit rules.

Anyone read this case?

The case arose after Antonio Jackson sued his employer, Rent-A-Center West Inc. (Rent-A-Center), for race discrimination and retaliation. Rent-A-Center asked the lower court to compel arbitration pursuant to an agreement Jackson signed, which stated "the Arbitrator, and not any federal, state, or local court or agency, shall have exclusive authority to resolve any dispute relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability or formation of this agreement including, but not limited to any claim that all or any part of this agreement is void or voidable."

Rent-A-Center contended that the arbitrator, not a court, should determine whether the agreement was enforceable. After the lower court granted Rent-A-Center's request, Jackson appealed.

The 9th Circuit reversed, finding that when a party to the arbitration agreement raises the issue of unconscionability, the court must step in. "We hold that where, as here, an arbitration agreement delegates the question of the arbitration agreement's validity to the arbitrator, a dispute as to whether the agreement to arbitrate arbitrability is itself enforceable is nonetheless for the court to decide as a threshold matter," it ruled.

The case cited is Jackson v. Rent-A-Center West Inc., 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 2009 WL 2871247 (2009).
TŠ 2009 Thomson Reuters

Because this is great news for us on the west coast, and particularly those hired "at will" don't know if it will hold up in the Supreme court.
JoeC (McGruff)
JoeC (McGruff)
JoeC (McGruff)

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