Partner Derek Barella was quoted on the oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court case New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira, which questions whether an independent owner-operator under contract with a motor carrier must take any disputes to arbitration, or instead be permitted to take grievances to court.
Derek said the case concerns opposite interpretations of the phrase “contracts of employment.” Prime claims the phrase refers only to agreements between an employer and its employees, while Oliveira argues that the phrase includes employer-employee agreements and independent contractor agreements. Derek said that the Court may have hesitations over Prime’s claims.
“It’s a little dangerous to read the tea leaves from an oral argument, but I think from the questions that were asked to the Prime attorney do suggest that [Chief] Justice [John] Roberts and [Neil] Gorsuch had some reservations,” he said.
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