Is This the “Last Mile” for the “LastMile Drivers”? Navigating the Federal Arbitration Act’s Transportation Worker Exemption

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Litigation over mandatory arbitration of employment disputes has skyrocketed in recent years, and one of the most hotly contested issues has involved the scope of the transportation worker exemption of the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2019 decision in New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira that held for the first time that the transportation worker exemption applies to both employees and independent contractors, courts have increasingly been wrestling with the scope of the exemption, including the question of whether certain transportation workers are engaged in interstate commerce. Indeed, given the number of ridesharing, food delivery, and other gig economy workers classified as independent contractors, understanding the scope and reach of the transportation worker exemption is of critical importance to many employers.

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