Court Rejects Individual Pattern and Practice Claim and Enforces Arbitration Agreement in Discrimination Case

By Gerald L. Maatman, Jr. and Michael L. DeMarino Seyfarth Synopsis:  In the midst of a legal landscape that is seemingly pro-arbitration, employers should recognize that employees still have a few strategies to oppose arbitration or invalidate an arbitration agreement. The recent ruling of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Buchanan, et. al. v. Tata Consultancy Services, Ltd., 15-CV-01696 (N.D. Cal. Jul. 23, 2018), is a good reminder for employers that arbitration agreements are still susceptible to challenges like waiver and unconscionability. Employers faced with class actions involving a mix of class members who signed and did not sign arbitration agreements should be careful to preserve their right to enforce the agreements.  At the same time, this decision in Buchanan is important because it held that a private, individual plaintiff is not entitled to rely on the pattern and practice burden shifting framework articulated in…

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