September 21, 2023


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Domino’s delivery drivers challenge arbitration clauses after Southwest Airlines ruling

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Petitions of the 7 days
A courier drops off a package at the Supreme Court

The Petitions of the Week column highlights a choice of cert petitions lately filed in the Supreme Court docket. A checklist of all petitions we’re observing is out there listed here.

Over the previous four decades, the Supreme Court docket has issued a extensive string of choices deciphering the Federal Arbitration Act to deliver extensive security for arbitration agreements. This phrase, even so, was additional of a combined bag. Even though the court docket issued a range of thoughts that ended up pro-arbitration, it also wrote two that lower against the common enterprise observe. In Southwest Airways v. Saxon, the courtroom dominated that the airline could not drive the supervisor of a ramp for loading cargo on to its airplanes into arbitration below the FAA since the act exempts any “class of workers engaged in international or interstate commerce.” This week, we emphasize cert petitions that ask the courtroom to take into account, amongst other things, regardless of whether supply drivers for Domino’s Pizza are also “workers engaged in … interstate commerce.”

The pizza that Domino’s provides to you on a Friday night may perhaps arrive from your neighborhood franchise 3 miles down the road. But that franchise will get its substances from the stop of a long and sophisticated source chain that spans the nation, if not the globe. Domino’s franchises in Los Angeles or San Diego, for case in point, get their ingredients from the Southern California Provide Chain Heart, which ships in some substances throughout condition lines. The corporation employs supply drivers to carry these products from the center to the franchises. Like for a lot of of its workers, Domino’s incorporates clauses in these drivers’ contracts that call for the handling of employment disputes in arbitration, rather of in court docket.

A team of these middle-to-franchise motorists sued Domino’s in California condition court docket for refusing to reimburse fees they incurred on the career. The business eliminated the case to federal district court docket and asked the judge to mail the disputes into arbitration beneath the FAA. The district courtroom refused, and the U.S. Courtroom of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed, on the grounds that the drivers are a “class of personnel engaged in overseas or interstate commerce.”

In Domino’s Pizza, LLC v. Carmona, the firm asks the justices to resolve this dilemma in the wake of their final decision in Southwest. In performing so, Domino’s joins the likes of Amazon, Uber, and Lyft, all of which filed amicus briefs in Southwest to alert the court that a ruling from the airline could jeopardize the arbitration agreements people companies call for for their possess motorists. The court’s belief in Southwest explicitly remaining this query open up in a footnote.

A checklist of this week’s showcased petitions is under:

Ragan v. Ragan
Issue: No matter whether, following an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan administrator has fully distributed daily life insurance plan proceeds, ERISA preempts a claimant’s condition-legislation appropriate to those proceeds.

Domino’s Pizza, LLC v. Carmona
Issue: No matter whether drivers building exclusively in-condition deliveries of products requested by in-condition customers from an in-state warehouse are yet a “class of staff engaged in foreign or interstate commerce” for applications of Area 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act simply for the reason that some of all those merchandise crossed condition strains ahead of coming to rest at the warehouse.

Smith v. United States
Problem: Irrespective of whether the appropriate treatment for the government’s failure to confirm location is an acquittal barring re-prosecution of the offense, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 5th and 8th Circuits have held, or regardless of whether as a substitute the government might re-check out the defendant for the very same offense in a various location, as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 6th, 9th, 10th and 11th Circuits have held.


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