Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that, to be enforceable, an arbitration agreement does not necessarily have to set forth the rules or procedures that will apply in arbitration or to select a forum for the arbitration.
The case involved Marilyn Flanzman, who worked for Jenny Craig as a weight maintenance counselor in Paramus, New Jersey, for almost 27 years. In 2011, she signed an Arbitration Agreement with Jenny Craig. That agreement states that all disputes, including discrimination claims, must be resolved through “final and binding arbitration” rather than a jury or other civil trial.
In February 2017, Jenny Craig reduced Ms. Flanzman from thirty-five hours per week to nineteen hours per week. At the time, Ms. Flanzman was 82 years old. In April 2017, Jenny Craig further reduced Ms. Flanzman’s hours, to approximately thirteen hours per week. In June 2017, the company reduced her to only three hours per week. When Ms. Flanzman complained to her supervisors, they told her: “That is just the way it is,” and that if she did not accept her new schedule she would be fired. Ms. Flanzman, who apparently was the only employee in Paramus whose hours were reduced so dramatically, rejected the three-hour-per-week schedule.