On August 4, 2020, the Seventh Circuit affirmed two district court decisions that read section 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act, known as the “transportation worker exemption,” in line with its text and context. WLF filed an amicus brief urging this affirmance. The FAA establishes a federal policy favoring arbitration. It requires, in section 2, that most people comply with their arbitration agreements. It contains a discrete exception, in section 1, for “seamen, railroad employees, or any other class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce.” Two district courts ruled that drivers who deliver meals locally for Grubhub fall outside this exemption. The Seventh Circuit agreed, writing: “To show that they fall within th[e] exception, the plaintiffs had to demonstrate that the interstate movement of goods is a central part of the job description of the class of workers to which they belong. They did not even try to do that.”


Seventh Circuit opinion

Seventh Circuit brief