Employee worked at Bloomingdales as a sales associate. ?At the time of hire, the employer gave her an arbitration agreement that waived her right to file class or collective actions.? ?The employee had the right to opt-out within 30 days but she did not exercise that right. She later filed a class action lawsuit in California state court. ?The employer removed the case under the Class Action Fairness Act. ?It then moved to enforce the arbitration agreement under the Federal Arbitration Act.? ?The district court dismissed the federal case on the basis of the arbitration agreement and the employee appealed. The Court declined to decide whether the Norris-LaGuardia? ?Act? ?and?? section?? 7?? of?? the National Labor Relations Act provide employees with a substantive right to file class or concerted actions. ?The court held because there was an opt- out, the employer did not interfere with any of the employee?s federal labor law rights.
The panel? rejected ?the ?argument? that? the employer was offering the employee a ?benefit? in exchange? ?for? ?refraining? ?in? ?concerted? ?activity, which? ?would? ?be? ?an? ?unfair?? labor?? practice? ?in violation of the NLRA. ?The court reasoned that an arbitration agreement isn?t a ?benefit? to an employee similar to a raise.? ?This was not a surprising holding given that the employee was trying to avoid the very ?benefit? of the arbitration agreement.
Johnmohammadi v. Bloomindales, Inc., — F.3d — (9th Cir. 6/23/14) (Watford, Noonan, and W. Smith (D.R.I.))