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Document Type

Article

Abstract

Since the inception of several employment and discrimination statutes, arbitration has grown exponentially as an alternative for the adjudication of employment disputes. The Supreme Court has traditionally held that statutory claims are indeed arbitrable pursuant to a valid arbitration agreement under the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA"). In an effort to end employment discrimination based on "race, color, religion, sex, or national origin," Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"). In order to adequately effect this calling, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") was created as the Act's primary enforcement mechanism. While arbitration agreements under the FAA and the enforcement powers of the EEOC have been adequately examined separately by the Supreme Court, the issue of how the two directly effect one other had yet to be addressed. As a result of the Court's lack of direction concerning the abovementioned issue, lower courts that have been presented with the problem have found for different results. Thus, when an employee who had signed a prior arbitration agreement was fired by a Waffle House franchise in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), the Supreme Court took the opportunity to decide exactly how the EEOC factored into the equation. This Casenote will analyze the Supreme Court's decision in EEOC v. Waffle House, Inc. and how it may ultimately effect employers and their use of arbitration agreements.