In the last generation, the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly promoted the policy under federal law in favor of arbitrating claims, including in the area of employment law. Among other issues, the Court has held on multiple occasions that employers can require employees to submit statutory employment claims to arbitration, whether via mandatory arbitration agreements (Gilmer v. Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp., 500 U.S. 20 (1991)) or in collective bargaining agreements (14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett, 556 U.S. 247 (2009)). Likewise, the Court has held that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) allows contracting parties to agree to submit their disputes to arbitration even when state law requires those disputes to be resolved by an administrative agency (as is the case with employment discrimination claims under Wisconsin law). Preston v. Ferrer, 552 U.S. 346 (2008).
Earlier this week, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals issued another decision bolstering employers’ ability to mandate arbitration of employment claims.