Are Questions Concerning the Scope of Binding Arbitration Clause Determined by Federal Law ?

In Baker v. Aubry, 216 Cal. App. 3d 1259, 265 Cal. Rptr. 381 (1990), the plaintiff filed a complaint with the Commissioner seeking overtime pay from an employer. The Baker court held that, in the context of a binding arbitration agreement, questions concerning the construction and scope of the arbitration clause are determined by federal law. Baker, 216 Cal. App. 3d at 1263, 265 Cal. Rptr. at 383. Baker also acknowledged that the Federal Arbitration Act served to effectuate the national policy of favoring arbitration by withdrawing the power of the states to require a judicial forum for the resolution of claims which parties agreed to resolve through arbitration. Baker, 216 Cal. App. 3d at 1265. The Commissioner ultimately dismissed the plaintiff's complaint upon finding that the matter was subject to a written arbitration agreement.