Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
December 4, 2000, Argued ; January 22, 2001, Decided
[*550] WILLIAMS, Circuit Judge:
John Bradford first filed for arbitration and later filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina against Rockwell Semiconductor [*551] Systems, 1 alleging that Rockwell discriminated against him on the basis of his age in discharging him from employment. The district court granted Rockwell's motion for summary judgment and enforced the mandatory arbitration provision in Bradford's employment agreement, notwithstanding a fee-splitting provision that required Bradford to pay half of the arbitrator's [**2] fees and costs. Bradford argues on appeal that the fee-splitting provision renders the arbitration agreement unenforceable because the prohibitive costs of arbitration have prevented him from vindicating his statutory rights in the arbitral forum. Because Bradford has failed to show that the costs of arbitration were prohibitive or that he was deterred from pursuing his statutory rights, we affirm.
Bradford was employed by the Brooktree Corporation, which was acquired by Rockwell. Rockwell offered him continued employment and sent him a "Mutual Agreement to Arbitrate Claims." (J.A. at 68-71.) The agreement provided that
Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, the Company and the Employee hereby consent to the resolution by arbitration of the following claims or controversies for which a court otherwise would be authorized by law to grant relief . . . . The Claims covered by this Agreement include, but are not limited to, claims for wages or [**3] other compensation due; claims for breach of any contract or covenant, express or implied, tort claims; claims for discrimination, including but not limited to discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, age, marital status, handicap, disability or medical condition, claims for benefits, . . . and claims for violation of any federal, state or other governmental constitution, statute, ordinance or regulation.
(J.A. at 39.) The "Arbitration Procedures," which were attached to and referenced by the arbitration provision, provided that
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
238 F.3d 549 *; 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 832 **; 84 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 1358; 143 Lab. Cas. (CCH) P59,184; 79 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) P40,399
JOHN BRUCE BRADFORD, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. ROCKWELL SEMICONDUCTOR SYSTEMS, INCORPORATED, Defendant-Appellee.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, at Wilmington. James C. Fox, District Judge. (CA-98-169-7-F).
arbitration, arbitration agreement, costs, claimant, vindicating, arbitral forum, fee-splitting, deterred, statutory claim, unenforceable, fee splitting, courts, federal statute, statutory right, deterrent, per se rule, employees, rights, arbitration costs, district court, judicial forum, invalidate, financial hardship, case-by-case, provisions, pursuing, parties, prohibitively expensive, arbitration provision, summary judgment
Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Judgments, Summary Judgment, General Overview, Appellate Review, Standards of Review, Business & Corporate Compliance, Contracts Law, Contract Conditions & Provisions, Arbitration Clauses, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Federal Arbitration Act, Arbitration Agreements, Pretrial Matters, Validity of ADR Methods, International Trade Law, Dispute Resolution, International Commercial Arbitration, Arbitration, Labor & Employment Law, Collective Bargaining & Labor Relations, Labor Arbitration, Enforcement, Discrimination, Labor & Employment Law, Discrimination, Age Discrimination, ADEA Enforcement, Governments, Legislation, Statutory Remedies & Rights