When Fern Zaken sued his employer, Jenny Craig, Inc., for religious discrimination, the company tried to force him to pursue his case in arbitration. Zaken v. Jenny Craig, Inc., 2:2011cv2465 (E.D.N.Y. October 13, 2011). Daniel Newbanks and Jennifer Walton worked as independent contractors for Cellular Sales, which exclusively sold Verizon products. The company subsequently changed its name, subject to an arbitration agreement and the waiver of the right to enter a class action. In 2012, Mr. Newbanks and Ms. Walton filed a class action lawsuit for false classification and unpaid wages. Cellular Sales filed a motion to force arbitration.
In the end, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit confirmed that the claims were outside the scope of the compromise clause. Newbanks v. Cellular Sales of Knoxville, Inc. Debra Gragston began working for Coca-Cola in 2000. In 2014, she filed a complaint of racial and sexual discrimination in federal court. Based on a training that took place years earlier, during which the company explained its dispute resolution process, Coca-Cola moved to force arbitration. Ms. Gragston argued that simply participating in a business meeting was not an agreement to waive her constitutional right to take the matter to court. The judge objected and her assertions were expelled from the public forum. Gragston v.
Coca-Cola Refreshments Mr Watkins was a sales agent who supplied PepsiCo products. One night, Mr. Watkins` manager asked him to sign inaccurate delivery vouchers. Mr Watkins reportedly refused and then reported his manager for theft. A few days later, Mr. Watkins was disciplined, allegedly for unrelated reasons. According to the company manual, this practice was attractive only to senior management or through “independent conciliation.” Mr. Watkins was suspended and fired less than two months after his report. Mr. Watkins complained unsuccessfully. Watkins v. Rolling Frito-Lay Sales, LP, Frito Lay Inc.
and PepsiCo, Inc. Robert Winston and Allan Wheeler worked as weapons professors for Academi in Afghanistan under a contract with the U.S. State Department. After their dismissal, the men filed a complaint under the False Claims Act, claiming that the company had denounced them in retaliation for the announcement that Academi had inserted incorrect figures in the firearms certification records filed with Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Academi attempted to impose the application in arbitration proceedings under the terms of its independent grantee agreement, but a federal district judge found that the compromise clause was unacceptable. Winston, et al. v. Academi Training Center, Inc., No. 1:2012cv00767 (E.D. Va.
March 13, 2013). Landry`s Inc. is a large company with numerous affiliates and subsidiaries, including Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, Golden Nugget, Cadillac Bar, Landry`s Seafood and Morton`s The Steakhouse. Landry`s has decided to impose arbitration proceedings against employees who want to have their day in an open court.