In early 2013, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (which has jurisdiction over Minnesota employers) issued a decision in Owen v. Bristol Care affirming an employer’s right to compel arbitration even when an employee is seeking to assert claims on behalf of a class.
Sharon Owen brought claims on behalf of herself and a group of other employees alleging that Bristol had misclassified their positions under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
When she began working at Bristol, Owen signed an arbitration agreement in which she agreed that any claims she brought against her employer would be resolved through arbitration. Despite the agreement, she filed suit in federal district court, claiming that compelling arbitration would prevent her from exercising her statutory right to bring class-action claims.
Although the lower court ruled in her favor, the 8th Circuit rejected Owen’s argument and upheld the terms of the mandatory arbitrat...(register to read more)