Court concludes that parties' employment agreement did not require arbitration of age discrimination claim
In Hall and Ortner v. Stark Reagan, P.C., et al., two judges of the Court of Appeals ruled that the parties' "partnership agreement" did not contemplate the arbitration of age discrimination claims. Judge Kirsten Kelly, who has never seen a plaintiff's claim that she liked, dissented from the opinion. Hall and Ortner sued their P.C. after the other partners allegedly decided they wanted to "change the demographics" of the firm in response to declining revenues. Their solution--kicking out two older partners, Hall and Ortner--was considered by the latter to be illegal age discrimination,and they filed a lawsuit.The remaining defendants asked the Circuit Court to send the case to arbitration pursuant to the parties' underlying contractual employment agreement. The Court noted that the waiver of civil rights that results from mandatory arbitration is never lightly assumed and that the Plaintiffs' age discrimination claim did not come within the purview of the rights subject to mandatory arbitration in the parties' contract.