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Supreme Court Holds CBA Requiring ADEA Arbitration is Enforceable

April 06, 2009

By Neal D. Mollen, Stephen B. Kinnaird and Dara H. Freling

A labor agreement that channels statutory discrimination claims into arbitration is enforceable, the Supreme Court has held. 14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett, __ S. Ct. __, 556 U.S. ___, 2009 WL 838159 (April 1, 2009). The Court held, in a sharply divided five-to-four decision, that the public policy favoring the arbitration of disputes reflected in the National Labor Relations Act applies with equal force to statutory claims such as those arising under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA"). This decision is a victory for the employer, and represents something of a counterpoint to recent Court decisions that restricted the utility of pre-dispute arbitration agreements.