Martin v. Yasuda, No. 15-55696 (9th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, individuals who enrolled in a cosmetology program at Milan Institute, filed a class action against the college and its President, alleging that defendants violated state labor laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. 201 et seq. On appeal, defendants challenged the district court's denial of their motion to compel arbitration. The court concluded that the district court did not err in deciding the litigation conduct waiver issue itself. If the parties intend that an arbitrator decide that issue under a particular contract, they must place clear and unmistakable language to that effect in the agreement. Defendants failed to do so in this case and thus the district court did not err by deciding the conduct waiver issue. The court also concluded that defendants waived their right to arbitration because they engaged in acts inconsistent with their right to arbitration, and plaintiffs were prejudiced. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.