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Employment Contract Arbitration Clause Precludes Litigation of Disability Discrimination Claim
Description Fifth Circuit upholds the enforceability of a binding arbitration clause signed by an employee in an employment contract. Her claim of discrimination on the basis of disability must be arbitrated, not litigated.
Topic Alternate Dispute Resolution
Key Words Arbitration, Employment Contract, Disability
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Miller signed "an employment contract containing an arbitration clause providing that any dispute arising over employment termination would be resolved by binding arbitration." Two years later, she injured her arm at work and took a medical leave of absence. After eight months she was still unable to return to work and was fired. She received a Notice of Right to Sue from the EEOC and sued Public Storage for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Lower Court Decision Suit dismissed. Under the Federal Arbitration Act, the arbitration agreement in the employment contract was valid and enforceable. Miller appealed.
Court of Appeals Decision Affirmed. "The explicit language of the ADA advocates the use of alternative dispute resolution: 'Where appropriate and to the extent authorized by law, the use of alternative means of dispute resolution, including ... arbitration, is encouraged to resolve disputes under this chapter.'"
Citation Miller v. Public Storage Management, Inc., 121 F.3d 215 (5th Cir., 1997)

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