Hastings Law Journal


Section 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA") states that "nothing herein contained shall apply to contracts of employment of seamen, railroad employees, or any class of workers engaged in foreign or interstate commerce." The Court has interpreted this section very narrowly so that it only applies to seamen, railroad, and other transportation employees. This Note examines the historical context in which the FAA emerged and argues that the Court has ignored the original intent of the Section 1 exception. The note examines the meaning of the term "engaged in commerce" at the time the FAA was enacted, the legislative history, and the public's perception of the FAA at the time it was enacted and concludes that the FAA was not intended to include arbitration of employment contracts. Finally, this Note suggests that Congress should either amend the FAA to reconcile it with the Court's interpretation or amend it to exclude employment contracts as the FAA originally intended.

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