This case presented the question whether a mandatory employment arbitration agreement precluding class arbitration is enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act, if a worker subject to the agreement asserts a Title VII “pattern-or-practice” claim of disparate treatment that can be brought only on behalf of a class. The district court held that such an agreement is unenforceable because it does not ensure that the worker can effectively vindicate her federal statutory right under Title VII to be free of sex discrimination in the workplace.
The employer appealed to the Second Circuit, and Public Citizen filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiff urging affirmance of the district court’s decision. The Second Circuit reversed, holding that the worker did not have a substantive statutory right to pursue a pattern-or-practice claim under Title VII. It thus concluded that the district court erred by denying the employer’s motion to compel arbitration.