Does the Federal Arbitration Act Apply to All Employment Contracts ?
In Gilmer v. Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp. (1991), 500 U.S. 20 the court noted that several amici curiae had argued that section 1 excludes from the coverage of the Federal Arbitration Act all contracts of employment.
However, this issue had not been raised in the proceedings in the courts below and was not among the questions presented in the petition for certiorari.
"In any event," the court continued, "it would be inappropriate to address the scope of the 1 exclusion because the arbitration clause being enforced here is not contained in a contract of employment. . . . Rather, the arbitration clause at issue is in Gilmer's securities registration application, which is a contract with the securities exchanges, not with the employer. . . . We therefore hold that 1's exclusionary clause does not apply to Gilmer's arbitration agreement. Consequently, we leave for another day the issue raised by amici curiae." (500 U.S. 20, 25, fn. 2, 111 S. Ct. 1647, 114 L. Ed. 2d 26.)
Justices Stevens and Marshall dissented in Gilmer, expressing the opinion that the securities registration application, which was made a condition of employment, was part of a "contract of employment" and that, based on the legislative history, it was excluded from the reach of the Federal Arbitration Act under section 1. (Id. at p. 40.)