JPMorgan Chase, the country's largest bank and biggest U.S. credit-card issuer, has reintroduced to over 40 million credit card holders a controversial policy that forces their customers to use arbitration instead of being able to go to court to resolve payment disputes or joining class-action suits. This new clause stipulates that any disputes between consumers and Chase must be brought up before a private arbitrator.
In an opinion handed down last Friday, the Texas Supreme Court held that, where an arbitration is governed by the Texas General Arbitration Act, or "TAA," courts cannot vacate the arbitration award on the grounds that the arbitrator "manifestly disregarded the law." Justice Debra Lerhmann, writing for a unanimous Court in Hoskins v. Hoskins, reasoned that the language of the TAA "could not be plainer" in requiring that a "trial court 'shall confirm' an award unless vacatur is required under one of the enumerated grounds" in the statute, "which do not include an arbitrator's manifest disregard of the law."
Paperwork seems to be a part of life. And because of the copious amounts that we often deal with at work in our daily lives, we tend to rarely read everything. Unfortunately, this means that we may overlook an important document - a document that could make a significant difference.
Recently, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that a worker was required to arbitrate her employment discrimination claims against her employer even though she was an "at-will" employee. Normally, an employer cannot take away an employee's rights to bring a claim in the Texas court system unless the agreement to arbitrate has "consideration." That term means that the employer has given value in order to compel arbitration. Here, the employee was an "at-will" employee, and so the employer could fire her at any time for any cause (other than for an illegal reason, such as one based upon age, religion, or race). She therefore argued that the employer gave no consideration to remove her right to pursue a lawsuit. The Supreme Court disagreed.