Missouri Supreme Court allows arbitration in case of fired worker

The Missouri Supreme Court has allowed Easter Seals Midwest to enforce arbitration on a fired worker.

The court reversed a lower court’s decision that allowed Lewis Soars, the fired worker, to bring his wrongful termination case to court. Soars was fired from the St. Charles County nonprofit in January 2016.

Soars alleged that he was fired for reporting other employees were smoking marijuana on the job and sued Easter Seals for discrimination and wrongful termination.

The arbitration agreement that Soars signed as a condition of employment was at issue in the case. The agreement contained a delegation clause that gave an arbitrator exclusive authority to resolve most employer-employee disputes.

The supreme court determined that Soars should have more narrowly challenged the delegation clause itself.

In the dissenting opinion of the 5-2 decision, Judge George Draper wrote that it was “disturbing” that the decision could change Missouri law without considering the numerous arbitration cases involving at-will employees currently being litigated.

Read more: Missourinet

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