Nathan E. Ross


Disputes resulting from workplace incidents are consuming increasingly greater proportions of our courts' dockets.2 In recent years, "[e]mployment litigation has grown at a rate many times greater than litigation in general ... almost one thousand percent greater than the increase in all other types of civil litigation combined."3 Due to the unequal bargaining power employers possess over employees in these disputes, states have passed workers' compensation laws to level the playing field.' However, employers have chosen not to subscribe to their states' workers' compensation systems, but instead have created their own employee compensation plans.' In addition, these employer-created compensation plans demand that employees submit all their disputes to an arbitral forum.6 The Supreme Court has not set forth a minimum threshold that employer-created compensation plans must meet so as not to violate the public policy underlying the state workers' compensation schemes. In Strawn, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas faced such an employer-created compensation plan and held it to be void as against Texas public policy



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