Plaintiffs, former insurance agents for defendants New York Life Insurance Company and its related companies, brought a putative class action seeking recovery for allegedly illegal wage deductions and violations of overtime and minimum wage laws. The main issue on appeal, and an issue of first impression for New York state courts, was the validity of an arbitration provision in one plaintiff’s agent contract that waived any right to a jury trial and agreed that no claim could be brought or maintained “on a class action, collective action or representative action basis either in court or arbitration.” The court held that arbitration provisions which prohibit class, collective, or representative claims violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and are therefore unenforceable. In addition, the Court agreed with the Seventh Circuit’s reasoning that arbitration provisions like the one at issue here fail to meet the criteria of the FAA’s Saving Clause for nonenforcement because the provision is unlawful under the NLRA. In holding that class waivers violated the NLRA, the court aligned itself with the Seventh and Ninth Federal Circuits and disagreed with the Second, Fifth, and Eighth Circuits. The Court noted that the Supreme Court would soon address this circuit split. , Case No. 653923/12 (N.Y. App. Div. July 18, 2017).
You are here: / / / NEW YORK APPELLATE COURT SIDES AGAINST THE SECOND CIRCUIT AND HOLDS CLASS ACTION WAIVERS VIOLATE THE NLRA