Keller Postman represented more than 15,000 Postmates delivery workers by bringing individual arbitrations as required by their arbitration agreement. The company fought its workers’ attempts to bring their claims for more than two years, ultimately losing multiple federal court cases and setting the first appellate precedent for the enforceability of individual arbitration agreements in response to motions to compel by plaintiffs.
First, Postmates refused to proceed with arbitrations when faced with individual demands from more than 5,000 of our clients. On October 22, 2019, in Adams v. Postmates, U.S. District Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong granted those clients’ motion to compel arbitration and ordered Postmates to arbitrate with them.
On September 29, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling in a first-of-its-kind decision. Separately, after Postmates refused to pay its filing fees for arbitrations in Illinois, Judge Mary M. Rowland of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted our clients’ motion to compel arbitration in McClenon v. Postmates.
In February 2020, Keller Postman filed arbitration demands on behalf of more than 10,000 additional clients against Postmates. In Postmates v. 10,356 Individuals, Postmates sued our clients, seeking temporary and permanent injunctive relief to stop their claims. Postmates also sought to strike down certain California penalties for refusing to pay its arbitration fees.
In January 2021, Chief Judge Philip Gutierrez of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California rejected all of Postmates’ arguments. Postmates later withdrew its appeal.
These rulings set important precedents for workers who seek relief in arbitration—including in large numbers when a class-action waiver prevents them from proceeding as a class or a group.
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