Arbitration Compelled in Sexual Harassment Case; Employment Agreement Predated CPLR 7515’s Enactment

In Altman v. Salem Media of N.Y., LLC, 2020 NY Slip Op 06697 (App. Div. 1st Dept. Nov. 17, 2020), a discrimination/sexual harassment case, the court unanimously affirmed the lower court’s decision granting defendants’ motion to compel arbitration.

This case turns on the application of New York Civil Practice Law and Rules 7515, which (in general) prohibits arbitration agreements in employment discrimination cases.

Here, “[b]ecause plaintiff’s employment agreement predated the enactment of CPLR 7515, which provides that the statute applies only to contracts entered into ‘on or after the effective date of this section,’ the statute’s prohibition of agreements compelling arbitration of discrimination claims is inapplicable to this case.”

Therefore, held the court, the lower court properly granted defendants’ motion to compel arbitration of plaintiff’s claims pursuant to the parties’ employment agreement.

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