Division I: Arbitration Provision in Employment Contract A-Okay, Federal Arbitration Act Continues to Hurt People
This case is all about the right of access to the courts. Here, the employees to be employed had to sign an arbitration agreement. Those of you familiar with arbitration agreements and the United States Supreme Court know that it takes a lot to invalidate an arbitration agreement.
Here, essentially, the Court said the agreement was fine. Though, the court did get wrapped up a bit in its discussion of procedural unconscionability. See, that essentially means that someone was forced into it. But something more than a lack of bargaining power is needed, you have to show a refusal to deal with you on terms, show that there was pressure to just sign the darned thing, or that the thing was written so you couldn’t understand it.
I guess the key to this is that justice is sometimes not only blind, but deaf and dumb as well. This excerpt from the Court is telling:
The key inquiry under Washington law is whether the employees lacked a meaningful choice. Here, as in other cases of employment, the employees could choose employment elsewhere. The arbitration clause is understandable and is printed in the same size font as the rest of the agreement under a bolded heading.
More of the same. Arbitration clauses favor big business and hurt the individuals right to a fair hearing. The Federal Arbitration Act should be done away with.
But it won’t go away, and here we sit.