Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Judge Barrett and the case of the arbitrating Grubhub driver

 Back with another employment law(ish) opinion from Judge Barrett: Wallace v. Grubhub Holdings, Inc. A group of Grubhub drivers filed claims against the company, including FLSA overtime claims. Grubhub sought to enforce arbitration agreements under the Federal Arbitration Act. 

The FAA, however, is not universal. It does not apply to three categories of workers: 1. "seamen;" 2. "railroad employees;" and, at issue here, 3. "any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce." Judge Barrett held that the Grubhub drivers did not fall under that third exemption. 

Although the drivers delivered goods that had traveled across state lines, they themselves did not engage in interstate commerce. Per Judge Barrett:

To show that they fall within this exception, the plaintiffs had to demonstrate that the interstate movement of goods is a central part of the job description of the class of workers to which they belong.

Thus, the drivers were bound by the FAA and their arbitration agreements.  

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