Beljakovic v Melohn Properties, Inc.

On May 12, 2009, in Beljakovic v Melohn Properties, Inc., 1:04-cv-02694-RJH-GWG (S.D.N.Y. May 12, 2009) (Holwell, J.), Kucker Marino Winiarsky & Bittens, LLP won a momentous victory for the defendant-employer, establishing that it is entitled to an Order which compels the plaintiff-employee to arbitrate all of his discrimination claims alleged under the ADEA statute in his federal court complaint. Kucker Marino Winiarsky & Bittens succeeded on a renewed motion pursuant to 9 U.S.C. §§ 3 and 4, and the LMRA statute, in persuading the federal court to enforce the arbitration clause in the CBA (collective bargaining agreement) executed by the SEIU 32BJ union for the plaintiff-employee and by the Real Estate Advisory Board (RAB) for the defendant-employer. The federal court held that any statutory discrimination claim must be arbitrated even though the employee had not personally signed the agreement which contains the choice of forum clause. KMWB also demonstrated that the possible exception which is discussed by the Supreme Court of the United States in 14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett, 129 S. Ct. 1456, 173 L. Ed. 2d 398 (April 1, 2009) (Pyett) is not applicable to the instant action. This decision should be of tremendous value in helping protect the rights of employers to utilize arbitration as the only forum for adjudicating any federal discrimination claims, or other individual statutory claims, alleged by an employee.