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Ingle v. Circuit City Stores, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
328 F.3d 1165 (2003)


Facts

When Catherin Ingle (plaintiff) applied for her job with Circuit City Stores, Inc. (Circuit City) (defendant), she was required to sign an arbitration agreement before her application would be considered. The arbitration agreement: (1) required arbitration for claims brought by an employee, but not for claims brought by Circuit City; (2) required claims to be brought by an employee within one year of when the claim arose; (3) prohibited arbitrators from consolidating multiple employees’ claims into one class action; (4) required an employee to pay a fee to Circuit City, rather than an arbitrator, when the employee requested arbitration; (5) required the employee to pay one-half of the costs of arbitration, and allowed the arbitrator to require the employee to pay Circuit City’s share of arbitration costs if the employee did not prevail on her claim; (6) limited the types of relief an arbitrator could award to an employee; and (7) gave Circuit City the sole authority to modify or terminate the arbitration agreement.  Ingle later sued Circuit City for harassment and discrimination. The district court denied Circuit City’s motion to compel arbitration, finding that the arbitration agreement was unenforceable because it conditioned Ingle’s employment on her agreement to give up her statutory rights and remedies. Circuit City appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Pregerson, J.)

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