Originally published at The Daily Report on Nov. 5, 2020


The Federal Arbitration Act ordinarily obligates federal and state courts to enforce arbitration agreements, including in employment contracts. However, a nearly-century-old carveout in Section 1 exempts from the FAA's sweep contracts of employment for seamen, railroad workers or other individuals "engaged in foreign or interstate commerce." The "gig" economy has spawned increased litigation over the carveout's scope—specifically, whether it applies to certain categories of workers, ranging from Amazon drivers to Grubhub delivery workers. Disagreements are emerging among the federal courts, the law is uncertain in the Eleventh Circuit, and Supreme Court review may soon be called for.