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Gilmer v. Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp.

United States Supreme Court
500 U.S. 20 (1991)


Facts

Robert Gilmer (plaintiff), Manager of Financial Service for Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp. (Interstate) (defendant), was terminated after six years of employment. Gilmer filed an age discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and filed suit against Interstate under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), alleging that he was terminated because of his age. In reply, Interstate filed a motion to compel arbitration, citing an agreement that Gilmer signed in his registration application to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in which Gilmer agreed to arbitrate any dispute he had with Interstate. The district court denied the motion, finding that under the United States Supreme Court holding Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co. (1974), Congress intended to protect ADEA claimants’ access to the courts. The court of appeals reversed, finding that there was no Congressional intent to invalidate arbitration agreements that covered ADEA claims. Gilmer appealed, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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Dissent (Stevens, J.)

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