Court Rejects Report of Arbitration Bias as Non-Scientific
Wednesday, January, 15, 2014
A sex discrimination complaint against Citigroup, brought by a female employee who claimed she was terminated unfairly as she dealt with health complications stemming from her pregnancy, will go to arbitration as outlined in her employee agreement, despite a report submitted by the woman that demonstrated pro-corporate bias in the arbitration process. The Fifth Circuit Court of New York ruled that the report, created by Cornell University Researchers, failed to meet the legal requirements for scientific and relevant research. By dismissing the report, the court upheld the mandatory arbitration clause the employee agreed to when she signed her employment contract with Citigroup.
Citigroup fired the employee officially for absenteeism. The employee claims this was discriminatory because her absenteeism was due to pregnancy complications, and her firing was thus a violation of Title VII and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
The study was authored by Professor Alexander Colvin, and concludes that arbitration awards in employment cases tend to favor employers. The court ruled that legally, an expert’s opinion can only be considered if it applies specifically to the facts of the case, not generalities. By rejecting the report’s significance, it has ruled that the employee’s claims are without merit. As a result, barring further litigation, the arbitration will commence.