It's a New Year, so let's start 2016 off right with one of my favorite topics.....Magistrate Judge Goodman of course:
While the Court previously abstained from ruling on the per se unenforceability of the arbitration agreements partially because of a lack of pinpoint specificity on the timing of Defendants’ arbitration policy formulation and rollout, which clouded the issue of Defendants’ intent, the record is now clear on Defendants’ purpose. In response to Plaintiffs’ requests for admissions, Defendants unequivocally admit that (1) “[s]ubsequent to April 8, 2014, KOD presented entertainers with an agreement to arbitrate disputes arising between entertainers and KOD[;]”(2) “KOD’s post‐April 8, presentation of agreements to arbitrate disputes between KOD and its entertainers was motivated, at least in part, by the filing of this civil action[;]” and (3) “KOD’s post‐April 8, 2014 presentation to its entertainers of agreements to arbitrate disputes between KOD and its entertainers was intended, at least in part, to dissuade entertainers from participating in this civil action.” [ECF No. 89‐1, p. 5] (emphasis added). Thus, like in Billingsley and Abdul‐Rasheed, Defendants clearly intended to undermine the proper functioning of this litigation.In other words, in response to the filing of a collective FLSA action against the owners of King of Diamonds strip club, the club retroactively required strippers to sign arbitration agreements or they could not work at the club.
But the Judge, using his inherent, discretionary powers to manage the opt-in class before him, refused to enforce these reactionary arbitration agreements the club forced these performers to sign.
It's going to be a good year, I hope!