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Ninth Circuit reiterates its “knowing” waiver standard to compel arbitration of statutory discrimination claims

United States Publication May 3, 2021

On April 14, 2021, the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court’s order denying an employer’s motion to compel its former employee to arbitrate her statutory employment and civil rights claims. In doing so, the Ninth Circuit reaffirmed its requirement that an employee knowingly waive judicial determination of their Title VII and state analog claims. While the arbitration agreement at issue did not explicitly reference statutory claims, the Ninth Circuit determined it was enforceable based on its “clear language encompassing employment disputes and evidence that [plaintiff] knowingly waived her right to a judicial forum to resolve her statutory claims.” The court implicitly leaves open the possibility that its “knowing” waiver requirement may be subject to challenge under more recent Supreme Court authority favoring arbitration.  

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