On its face, an arbitration agreement suggests a straightforward process: should a dispute between the parties subject to the agreement arise, the dispute will be resolved through arbitration rather than litigation. But sometimes the parties do not follow this seemingly predetermined path. For example, many employers include mandatory, boilerplate arbitration agreements as conditions of employment. As is often the case, what happens when an employee sues her employer without knowledge of the contract’s arbitration clause? What if the employer allows the lawsuit to proceed for several months before it decides that it would fare better before an arbitrator? Must a court compel arbitration even if the plaintiff employee has spent considerable resources to pursue her claim in court? The Supreme Court of the United States addressed this question in Morgan v. Sundance. Plaintiff Robyn Morgan, an hourly Taco Bell employee, sued her employer’s parent corporation for withholding wages at her already low-wage job. After months of substantial litigation activity and to Ms. Morgan’s detriment, Sundance pulled out the pre-dispute arbitration agreement that Ms. Morgan was required to sign when hired.

Included in

Law Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.