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UPDATED: Split Court Backs Age Discrimination Arbitration for Union Members (Web)

April 1, 2009

While this morning’s Supreme Court opinion backing arbitration is almost customary, it also demonstrates another custom among the justices concerning the often-litigated ADR process:  The Court produces starkly different views as to how arbitration is conducted.

In 14 Penn Plaza, et al. v. Pyett, No. 07-581 (April 1, 2009) (available here), the nation’s top Court reversed an order that denied a motion to compel arbitration sought against union members.  The case holds that collective-bargaining agreement provisions requiring Age Discrimination in Employment Act cases to be arbitrated are enforceable.

But in the process, the Court turned back decades of case precedent, and did so split 5-4, over two borderline nasty dissents.

Russ Bleemer

Editor, Alternatives