On Tuesday, Judge Edward M. Chen of the Northern District of California denied a push to reconsider compelled arbitration, which was filed by a class of DoorDash drivers who argued that DoorDash violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The court did grant the plaintiff’s bid to file supplemental exhibits.
According to the order, “(t)he gist of Plaintiffs’ motion to reconsider is that the Court should invalidate the arbitration agreement contained in the November 2019 Independent Contractor Agreement (‘ICA’) because DoorDash rolled out the arbitration agreement while this lawsuit was pending and without notifying Plaintiffs’ counsel.”
Specifically, the plaintiffs averred that the court should reconsider because the court failed to consider “material facts or dispositive legal arguments presented before entry of its order.” The plaintiffs purported that “the Court did not consider Plaintiffs’ objection that the arbitration agreement in the November 2019 ICA was rolled out during this litigation and without notifying Plaintiffs of such” and that “the Court compelled all Plaintiffs to arbitration…even though DoorDash had not requested that relief.”
Judge Chen stated that the plaintiffs’ first argument has been waived because they knew about the November 2019 ICA and the agreement to arbitrate at the very least when DoorDash filed its motion to compel arbitration in May 2020. The plaintiffs claimed that they were allowed to make their argument after the conclusion of briefing because DoorDash filed a motion for leave to file a supplemental declaration. The court disagreed, finding the defendant’s supplemental declaration did not provide any new legal argument and even if it did, the plaintiffs failed to oppose it in time.
The court added that there was nothing obviously misleading about the November 2019 ICA, and that even if the November 2019 ICA was invalidated, it would not invalidate previous ICAs, which would still compel arbitration.
The court rejected the second argument for reconsideration on the merits. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the court’s “order compelling opt-ins to arbitration except for those who validly opted out was in error because DoorDash asked the Court to compel to arbitration only 2,662 individuals out of the current total of approximately 3,256 Opt-In Plaintiffs…” However, the court disagreed because DoorDash “never limited its arbitration motion to some subset of the opt-ins.” Instead, DoorDash sought to compel arbitration on an individual basis for each Opt-In Plaintiff’s claims.