An arbitrator, not a court, must decide whether more than 700 JetBlue pilots can collectively arbitrate a salary dispute with their employer, a state appellate panel has ruled, rejecting the budget airline’s argument that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Stolt-Nielsen v. AnimalFeeds, 130 S.Ct. 1758, precludes collective arbitration when it is not explicitly allowed by a contract.
In Stolt-Nielsen, the Supreme Court ruled that an arbitration agreement could not be assumed to allow class arbitration unless it did so explicitly. The Court said it reached its conclusion “because class-action arbitration changes the nature of arbitration to such a degree that it cannot be presumed the parties consented to it by simply agreeing to submit their disputes to an arbitrator.”
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