The Supreme Court of the United States has declined to consider whether to send a putative class action employment lawsuit that was filed against food and delivery app DoorDash to arbitration.  In DoorDash, Inc. v. Campbell, No. 21-220, a California DoorDash driver, Campbell, filed a state Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”) action lawsuit against the company in San Francisco County Superior Court over alleged tip and gratuity claims. In response, DoorDash filed a motion to compel the lawsuit to arbitration based on the terms of the company’s driver agreement.

The trial court denied DoorDash’s motion and stated Campbell’s claims were not preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).  According to the trial court, any waiver of Campbell’s right to bring a PAGA action violated public policy.  In addition, the trial court stated the California Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, applied to the case at hand despite the United States Supreme Court’s 2018 holding in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis.

On appeal, the First District of the California Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court in an unpublished opinion.   After that, the delivery company filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States.

The question presented to the Supreme Court was:

Whether agreements calling for individual arbitration are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act with respect to claims asserted under California’s Private Attorneys General Act, Cal. Lab. Code § 2698 et seq.

In its petition to the nation’s highest court, DoorDash argued the California judiciary endorsed “an unwritten exception” to the FAA that is irreconcilable with Supreme Court precedent. The driver, on the other hand, waived his right to respond.

On October 12th, the Supreme Court denied DoorDash’s petition without further comment. Because of this, the lawsuit will now proceed in San Francisco County Superior Court.

Photo by: Griffin Wooldridge on Unsplash