In Frank's Nursery, however, the EEOC pursued court action against an employer that included monetary relief for the employee even though there was an individual arbitration agreement between the employer and employee.5 Should the arbitration agreement restrict the EEOC from bringing such action? Currently, there is a split in the circuits on this issue. According to the Sixth Circuit in Frank's Nursery, the EEOC is not bound by the arbitration agreement and, therefore, can pursue court action against the employer that includes monetary relief on behalf of the employee.6 The Second Circuit, however, has not allowed the EEOC to pursue monetary relief in this situation Considering that monetary relief is a valuable remedy for the EEOC in pursuing its goal of promoting the public interest of preventing unlawful employment discrimination and that this goal differs from the goal(s) of an individual employee, the Sixth Circuit properly found that an individual arbitration agreement between an employer and an employee should not limit the enforcement options of the EEOC.
Earl D. Kraus,
Arbitration Agreements between Employers and Employees: The Sixth Circuit Says the EEOC Is Not Bound - EEOC v. Frank's Nursery & (and) Crafts, Inc.,
2000 J. Disp. Resol.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/jdr/vol2000/iss1/17