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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Four current and former employees of Countrywide Credit Industries filed suit against the company, on behalf of themselves and other similarly situated, to recover overtime compensation allegedly due under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Countrywide moved to compel the employees to arbitrate their claims, producing the arbitration agreements each signed as a condition of employment. The employees resisted, citing four arguments: 1. FLSA claims are not subject to arbitration; 2. the agreements are unconscionable; 3. the agreements infringe on substantive rights otherwise granted by the FLSA; and 4. the fee splitting arrangement contained in the agreements imposes impermissibly prohibitive arbitration costs on them. The district court rejected the first three arguments, but it agreed with the fourth. The district court subsequently severed the fee-splitting arrangement from the rest of the agreement and ordered Countrywide to pay all costs. The district court then granted Countrywide’s motion. The employees reassert their first three arguments on appeal. They also argue that the district court’s finding on the fee-splitting provision should have led that court to toss out the whole agreement, not just sever the offending portion. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court rejects the first argument, that FLSA claims are not subject to arbitration. Nothing in the act’s text or legislative history supports such a contention. In rejecting the third argument, the court refers to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which copied FLSA’s class-action provisions. The U.S. Supreme Court in Gilmer v. Interstate/Johnson Lane Corp., 500 U.S. 20 (1991), held that just because the ADEA allowed class action suits to be brought under its terms did not mean that plaintiffs’ substantive due process rights would be violated if they were not allowed to proceed collectively. Nor do the agreement’s limits on discovery, lack of a forum selection clause or its failure to explicitly mandate attorneys’ fees for the prevailing party deprive the employees of their substantive rights, the court finds. Had the employees been able to demonstrate that the forum selection provision placed an unreasonable burden on this, the provision may have been unenforceable, but no such evidence was presented. The court declines to re-examine the ruling on the merits of the fee-splitting provision argument because the issue has been rendered moot by Countrywide’s representation to the district court that it would pay all arbitration costs. The court also declines the employees’ invitation to find the entire agreement invalid because the combined weight of all the challenged elements renders the agreement unconscionable. Texas law includes procedural unconscionability, which refers to the circumstances surrounding the adoption of the arbitration provision, and substantive unconscionability, which refers to the fairness of the arbitration provision itself. Though the employees claim that the take-it-or-leave-it nature of the agreement was unconscionable � because it coerced employees who feared they would not get the job unless they signed the agreement � the court confirms that Texas law allows such all-or-nothing offers to at-will employees. OPINION:E. Grady Jolly Jr., Circuit Judge.

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