Eleventh Circuit Enforces Class Arbitration Waiver

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed a ruling compelling arbitration of an employment dispute. Plaintiff employees brought a putative collective action suit against the defendant, a windshield repair company, pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), alleging wage violations. The employer moved to compel individual arbitration pursuant to the terms of the parties’ individual arbitration agreements. The district court granted the motion and plaintiffs appealed, arguing that the FLSA’s statutory right to bring a collective action is substantive and cannot be abrogated by agreement or superseded by the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). The Eleventh Circuit disagreed, finding that, absent explicit congressional intent otherwise in the terms of the FLSA, the FAA requires enforcement of arbitration provisions, and allows for parties to waive their right to class or collective action. Walthour v. Chipio Windshield Repair, LLC, No. 13-11309 (11th Cir. March 21, 2014).

 

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