May 22, 2024


World's finest Law

Domino’s delivery drivers challenge arbitration clauses after Southwest Airlines ruling


Petitions of the week
A courier drops off a package at the Supreme Court

The Petitions of the Week column highlights a variety of cert petitions not too long ago submitted in the Supreme Courtroom. A listing of all petitions we’re viewing is out there right here.

In excess of the past four many years, the Supreme Court docket has issued a extended string of choices interpreting the Federal Arbitration Act to offer considerable protection for arbitration agreements. This time period, even so, was much more of a combined bag. Despite the fact that the court issued a selection of views that had been pro-arbitration, it also wrote two that slice versus the widespread business follow. In Southwest Airways v. Saxon, the courtroom dominated that the airline could not pressure the supervisor of a ramp for loading cargo onto its airplanes into arbitration below the FAA due to the fact the act exempts any “class of workers engaged in international or interstate commerce.” This week, we emphasize cert petitions that question the court docket to take into account, between other things, whether or not shipping and delivery drivers for Domino’s Pizza are also “workers engaged in … interstate commerce.”

The pizza that Domino’s provides to you on a Friday night time may well arrive from your local franchise 3 miles down the street. But that franchise will get its elements from the conclusion of a extensive and intricate supply chain that spans the nation, if not the world. Domino’s franchises in Los Angeles or San Diego, for illustration, acquire their substances from the Southern California Offer Chain Middle, which ships in some ingredients across point out strains. The business employs delivery drivers to carry these goods from the center to the franchises. Like for quite a few of its staff members, Domino’s includes clauses in these drivers’ contracts that need the handling of employment disputes in arbitration, in its place of in courtroom.

A group of these center-to-franchise motorists sued Domino’s in California condition courtroom for refusing to reimburse fees they incurred on the occupation. The enterprise eliminated the case to federal district courtroom and asked the decide to mail the disputes into arbitration less than the FAA. The district court docket refused, and the U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed, on the grounds that the motorists are a “class of workers engaged in overseas or interstate commerce.”

In Domino’s Pizza, LLC v. Carmona, the firm asks the justices to take care of this problem in the wake of their conclusion in Southwest. In executing so, Domino’s joins the likes of Amazon, Uber, and Lyft, all of which filed amicus briefs in Southwest to alert the court docket that a ruling in opposition to the airline could jeopardize the arbitration agreements those providers involve for their very own drivers. The court’s opinion in Southwest explicitly still left this question open in a footnote.

A record of this week’s showcased petitions is beneath:

Ragan v. Ragan
Difficulty: Whether, after an Employee Retirement Cash flow Stability Act plan administrator has totally distributed life insurance plan prepare proceeds, ERISA preempts a claimant’s condition-legislation suitable to individuals proceeds.

Domino’s Pizza, LLC v. Carmona
Difficulty: Whether or not motorists earning solely in-point out deliveries of items purchased by in-point out consumers from an in-state warehouse are however a “class of personnel engaged in international or interstate commerce” for uses of Segment 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act simply since some of these merchandise crossed condition lines before coming to rest at the warehouse.

Smith v. United States
Situation: No matter if the good remedy for the government’s failure to show venue is an acquittal barring re-prosecution of the offense, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 5th and 8th Circuits have held, or whether alternatively the authorities may re-try out the defendant for the similar offense in a distinct location, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 6th, 9th, 10th and 11th Circuits have held.


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