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O'Connor v. Uber Techs. - 904 F.3d 1087 (9th Cir. 2017)

Rule:

An order denying a motion to compel arbitration is reviewed de novo. Underlying factual findings are reviewed for clear error. Questions of arbitrability must be addressed with a healthy regard for the federal policy favoring arbitration.

Facts:

Current and former Uber drivers filed several putative class actions alleging on behalf of themselves and other drivers that Uber Technologies, Inc. and related defendants (collectively referred to as “Uber”), violated various federal and state statutes by, among other things, misclassifying drivers as independent contractors rather than employees. Multiple cases were consolidated for appeal to this court. Uber appealed the district court's orders denying Uber's motions to compel arbitration, orders granting class certification in O'Connor, and orders controlling class communications pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(d).

Issue:

Did the district court err in denying Uber’s motion to compel arbitration?

Answer:

Yes.

Conclusion:

Based on the panel's prior decision in Mohamed v. Uber Technologies, Inc., the district court's orders denying defendant's motions to compel arbitration had to be reversed. The question whether the arbitration agreements were enforceable under 9 U.S.C.S. § 2 was not properly for the district court to answer, but was designated to the arbitrator.

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