Not surprisingly, the defendant Kent Security of Palm Beach, represented by Thomas Groendyke, has filed a motion to compel the latest pregnancy discrimination case to arbitration. Kent Security has done this before in a Miami whistleblower case, and we wouldn't be shocked if this is attempted with us. I'll give a brief analysis of this as a layperson.
Richard Celler, who defeated Kent Security in front of a jury of peers in the Pat Hurley case (though the jury decision was overturned on an appeal in March 2014, like a hail Mary that occasionally works in football), is a vicious bobcat. Celler is representing the plaintiff. By contrast, Groendyke, from our experience, is a domesticated cat, albeit experienced.
What we see here is Kent Security trying to scratch its way out of the cage that allows for a jury trial while facing the bobcat and trying to take the dispute into an arena that limits potential liability. Kent Security is basically scared, though they would never admit to it. They are absolutely terrified of a repeat of the Hurley fiasco (with legal costs that reached a quarter of a million dollars). This is why they are in their predicament with the National Labor Relations Board, having to defend their mandatory arbitration provision that includes a class-action waiver. Amusingly, Kent Security has only drawn more attention to itself by pretending they are tough with their chronic paper-shuffling, like a tatted prole who pretends to be hard by listening to Avenged Sevenfold.
While Kent Security may believe arbitration absolutely covers them, we have shown this is untrue. Many lawyers will still file a lawsuit, allowing the complaints to be seen by the public. Furthermore, as more companies try to compel arbitration, the cost of arbitrating is skyrocketing for companies -- we have spoken to lawyers who have broken this down for us. A discrimination case, especially a very complex one, can reach as high as $300,000 in cost in arbitration. Moreover, companies that attempt to undermine the legal channels of employees are also likely to meet a more ferocious response via social media. The bottom line: resistance against labor rights is futile. It's all a wash.
Here are the new documents on the pregnancy discrimination case.