Review of Court Decisions - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 47, No. 3
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
SECURITIES-AGE DISCRIMINATION-HUMAN RIGHTS ACT -EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENTENFORCEMENT OF ARBITRATION AGREEMENT- MISSOURI
A discharged employee's age discrimination claim was subject to arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). Moreover, an employer's duty to supply a service letter under a state service letter statute was also subject to arbitration because it related to the discharged employee's employment and was within the scope of the parties' arbitration agreement.
Leland Boogher was employed by Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., as a securities trader. As part of his employment, he agreed to arbitrate all issues arising from his employment with his employer. Boogher was later terminated . ~ le filed an action against Stifcl, claiming that his termination was because of his age in violation of the Missouri I Iuman Rights Act (MHRA) and that Stifel had violated the service letter statute. The trial court dismissed the action, finding that the parties' agreement to submit all issues arising from Boogher's employment to arbitration precluded his lawsuit. Boogher appealed.
The appellate court determined at the outset that the FAA applied because Boogher's employment involved interstate commerce. Because of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Cif111er v . illterstnte/fohi!SOII Ln11c Corp., 500 U.S. , 111 S. Ct. 1647, 114 L. Ed. 2d 26 (1991), and the supremacy clause, the court concluded that Boogher's argument that his age discrimination claim under the MHRA should not be arbitrated was flawed . It reasoned that the Missouri legislature could not enact a provision of the MHRA that precludes arbitration without violating the supremacy clause. Moreover, under the FAA, Boogher's "age discrimination claim brought under the MHRA is subject to compulsory arbitration pursuant to his agreement."