Jin O. Jin v. Parsons Corp., No. 19-7019 (D.C. Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
After plaintiff filed suit against Parsons for employment discrimination, Parsons moved to compel arbitration. The district court denied the motion, concluding that genuine disputes of material fact existed as to whether plaintiff agreed to arbitrate.
The DC Circuit held that Section 4 of the Federal Arbitration Act makes plain that the district court, once it concluded that a genuine dispute of material fact existed as to whether plaintiff assented to the arbitration agreement, should have proceeded to try the issue of arbitrability. Section 4 allows the defendant to move the district court to compel the parties to arbitrate their dispute, but if arbitrability of the dispute itself is in issue, the FAA instructs the district court to proceed summarily to trial on that limited issue. Accordingly, the court vacated and remanded with instructions that the district court should hold the motion in abeyance pending its prompt resolution of whether the parties agreed to arbitrate.