The Employment Contract Exclusion (FAA І1) - Section VI - Employment Arbitration - 2nd Edition
Thomas Carbonneau is the Samuel P. Orlando Distinguished Professor of Law at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law. Professor Carbonneau is commonly regarded as one of the world's leading experts on domestic and international arbitration. He serves on the editorial board of La Revue de L'Arbitrage and is the author of ten highly acclaimed books and 75 scholarly and professional articles on arbitration.
Originally from Employment Arbitration - 2nd Edition
The Employment Contract Exclusion (FAA §1)
Thomas E. Carbonneau
On March 21, 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in Circuit City Stores, Inc. v. Adams. The Court held that the so-called employment contract exclusion in Section One of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) applies only to the employment contracts of workers directly involved in the interstate transport of good and services. Employers, therefore, could require all other employees to submit employment-related disputes to arbitration. The Court reversed the Ninth Circuit holding that the language in FAA §1 exempted all employment contracts from the FAA’s scope of application.
The Court began its analysis by citing the gravamen of the FAA. It stated that the FAA was enacted by Congress to eliminate the “hostility of American courts to the enforcement of arbitration agreements” and thereby to compel “judicial enforcement of a wide range of written arbitration agreements.” Section 2 of the FAA, the Court further declared, provided for the enforceability of any “written provision in any maritime transaction or a contract evidencing a transaction involving commerce to settle by arbitration a controversy thereafters arising out of such contract or transaction.” In Allied-Bruce, the Court interpreted Section 2 as “implementing Congress’ intent to exercise its commerce power to the full.” Section 1, therefore, only exempted “‘contracts of employment of seamen, railroad employees, or any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce’” from the FAA’s scope of application.
Section VI. The Employment Contract Exclusion (FAA §1)
(i) Circuit City Stores, Inc. v. Adams
(ii) The Aftermath of Adams
(iii) The Law Before Adams