Not A Million Dollar Verdict, But A Million+ Dollar Award
by Michael Fox
For those who need a reminder that mandatory arbitration is not necessarily always a great thing for employers, check out the Contra Costa Times story, Fired gym employee wins $2.4 million. The award, which I assume has now been paid, was actually handed down in April, 2003. The publicity more than a year later is because of Arbitrator Barbara Chvany's subsequent ruling that the award could be made public. 24 Hour Fitness, the unfortunate defendant had argued that the award as well as other aspects of the proceeding should be confidential. A California state district court decided otherwise and now at least for this particular case, the cat is out of the bag. See the law.com story, $3.5M ADR Award Against 24 Hour Fitness Unsealed about the fight to keep the record sealed. And note how by including the attorneys fee award, how differently the award can be characterized by two headline writers. Thanks to the Daily Labor Report for the tip to this story.