Laura Browne


The question of whether continued employment constitutes acceptance and consideration for an employment contract, particularly applied to mandatory arbitration clauses, has split the authorities who decide on cases arising out of Missouri. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, while purporting to apply Missouri law in cases arising out of Missouri, holds that an employee who continues to work for his or her employer after an arbitration program has been implemented is bound by it by the virtue of his or her continued employment. Missouri courts, however, disagree with this interpretation of Missouri law and held in Frye v. Speedway Chevrolet that employment contracts calling for mandatory arbitration of at-will employees' claims are not valid and enforceable if the only consideration offered is the employee's continued employment. In the Frye holding, Missouri courts stand up for the state's employees in a minority position that will result in employees filing their claims in state court over federal court and employers either attempting to remove more cases to federal court or including in their arbitration agreements some kind of consideration other than continued employment.



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