A Court Abandons Horton

By Bill Wright

In February 2013, we reported on a federal court in Idaho that followed the NLRB’s D.R. Horton decision and ruled that agreements to arbitrate all claims solely on an individual basis were unenforceable. (Click here to read the post.) Here’s the rest of the story. After failing to compel arbitration, the employer appealed the arbitration issue. Before the appeal briefs were even filed, the appellate court dropped a footnote in another case, noting that the Brown court got it wrong. The employer asked the federal court in Idaho to reconsider, and now it has. Now, the court has agreed with the Supreme Court and multiple appellate courts: an agreement to arbitrate claims on an individual basis may be enforced, even at the expense of workers’ right to engage in protected concerted activities. Brown v. Citicorp Credit Services, Inc., Case No. 1:12-cv-00062-BLW (D. Id.). Of course, in the meantime, the battle over conditional certification of a plaintiff class had been continuing. The employer won that too, but, we assume, paid its attorneys for what turns out to have been unnecessary work.