Summary of Morrison v. Circuit City Stores, Inc.
Facts: P brought an employment discrimination action against D pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; P was discharged as a store manager for in one of D’s stores; as part of application process, P signed two forms which mandated arbitration for dispute resolution; P claims agreement is invalid and unenforceable bc it fails to comply with the common law principles of contract law and that the agreement is an unconscionable adhesion contract that limits P’s right and remedies under Title VII and Ohio Code.
Issue: Whether the agreement to arbitrate is unenforceable when the P urges that the contract is unconscionable
Holding: P failed to show necessary support to show that the Arbitration agreement amounted to an unconscionable contract. Arbitration for P’s claims; FOR D
Reasoning: Two prong inquiry into whether a K is unconscionable 1. Whether the K terms are so unfair and unreasonable as to constitute substantive unconscionablitly; 2. The relative bargaining power of the K’ing parties to determine whether procedural Unconscionability exists. Court holds that 1. This case falls within the coverage of the Federal Arbitration Act 2. That the agreement is broad enough to cover the disputes asserted in this case 3. The agreement is valid and enforceable. P failed to show unfairness amounting to an unconscionable contract of adhesion. The balance of power was not so disproportionate to prevent a voluntary meeting of the minds on the issue of arbitration.
NOTES: A contract of adhesion is a standardized contract offered on essentially a “take it or leave it basis."