“Forget Arbitration, LVMH Lawyer’s Sexual Harassment Case Against the Luxury Titan Must Remain in Court”

The Fashion Law has posted this article discussing a New York trial court decision issued in Andowah Newton v. LVMH, 154178/2019 (N.Y. Sup.) holding that an employment arbitration provision is overridden by a New York statute “which prohibits the enforcement of “agreements that force victims of sexual harassment to arbitrate their claims.’” The court also rejected the employer’s claim that the New York statute is pre-empted by the Federal Arbitration Act, based upon “a key limitation set forth in that very statute; to wit, that it only applies to ‘a transaction involving commerce.’” According to the court:

“Because claims for sexual harassment, or other discrimination- based claims, cannot reasonably be characterized as claims concerning or ‘arising out of’ ‘a transaction involving commerce,’ and additionally because the instant case involves purely intrastate activity, the FAA cannot reasonably be said to apply to the Arbitration Agreement’s reference to arbitration of sexual harassment or other discrimination-based claims.”

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