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Supreme Court of the United States
December 1, 2008, Argued; April 1, 2009, Decided
[**1461] [*251] Justice Thomas delivered the opinion of the Court.
The question presented by this case is whether a provision in a collective-bargaining agreement that clearly and unmistakably requires union members to arbitrate claims arising under the Age Discrimination in Employment [***406] Act of 1967 (ADEA), 81 Stat. 602, as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., is enforceable. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that this Court's decision in Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co., 415 U.S. 36, 94 S. Ct. 1011, 39 L. Ed. 2d 147 (1974), forbids enforcement of such arbitration provisions. We disagree and reverse the judgment of the Court of [****9] Appeals.
Respondents are members of the Service Employees International Union, Local 32BJ (Union). Under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), 49 Stat. 449, as amended, the Union is the exclusive bargaining representative of employees within the building-services industry in New York City, which includes building cleaners, porters, and doorpersons. See 29 U.S.C. § 159(a). In this role, the Union has exclusive authority to bargain on behalf of its members over their "rates of pay, wages, hours of employment, or other conditions of employment." Ibid. Since the 1930's, the Union has engaged in industry wide collective bargaining with the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, Inc. (RAB), a multiemployer bargaining association for the New York City real-estate industry. The agreement between the Union and the RAB is embodied in their Collective Bargaining Agreement for Contractors and Building Owners (CBA). The CBA requires union members to submit all claims of employment discrimination to binding arbitration under the CBA's grievance and dispute resolution procedures:
[*252] "30. NO DISCRIMINATION "There shall be no discrimination against any present or future employee by reason of race, [****10] creed, color, age, disability, national origin, sex, union membership, or any characteristic protected by law, including, but not limited to, claims made pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the New York State Human Rights Law, the New York City Human Rights Code, . . . or any other similar laws, rules, or regulations. All such claims shall be subject to the grievance and arbitration procedure (Articles V and VI) as the sole and exclusive remedy for violations. Arbitrators shall apply appropriate law in rendering decisions based upon claims of discrimination." App. to Pet. for Cert. 48a.1
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556 U.S. 247 *; 129 S. Ct. 1456 **; 173 L. Ed. 2d 398 ***; 2009 U.S. LEXIS 2497 ****; 77 U.S.L.W. 4260; 105 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 1441; 157 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P11,208; 92 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) P43,507; 186 L.R.R.M. 2065; 21 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 738
14 PENN PLAZA LLC, et al., Petitioners v. STEVEN PYETT, et al.
Subsequent History: On remand at, Remanded by Pyett v. Pa. Bldg. Co., 328 Fed. Appx. 737, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 15660 (2d Cir., July 16, 2009)
Prior History: [****1] ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT.
Pyett v. Pa. Bldg. Co., 498 F.3d 88, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 18242 (2d Cir. N.Y., 2007)
Disposition: Reversed and remanded.
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Labor & Employment Law, Collective Bargaining & Labor Relations, General Overview, Civil Procedure, Arbitration, Federal Arbitration Act, Appeals, Appellate Jurisdiction, Interlocutory Orders, Business & Corporate Compliance, Labor & Employment Law, Bargaining Subjects, Labor Arbitration, Federal Preemption, Primacy of Labor Policy, Discrimination, Age Discrimination, ADEA Enforcement, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitrability, Enforcement, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, Waivers Under ADEA, Pretrial Matters, Judicial Review, Duty of Fair Representation, Scope & Definitions, Jurisdiction on Certiorari, Considerations Governing Review, Federal Court Decisions