USERRA Claims are Subject to Binding Arbitration

June 19, 2006

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”) is the federal law that regulates employment rights for military service members. In a recent opinion interpreting USERRA (Garrett v. Circuit City Stores, Inc.), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that statutory USERRA claims are procedurally no different than any other federal employment claim (i.e., race, sex, disability, age discrimination). Accordingly, employees subject to legally valid arbitration agreements can be required to arbitrate alleged USERAA violations, just as they can be required to arbitrate any other type of employment claim. For further information regarding what constitutes an enforceable arbitration agreement, please see “Arbitration Agreements in Employee Handbooks: Are they Enforceable?” on the first page of this issue, as well as our prior newsletter article entitled “Texas Supreme Court Embraces Binding Arbitration in Employment Disputes."

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