Second Circuit Concludes That Workers Who Deliver Baked Goods Are Not Transportation Workers and Must Arbitrate Their Claims

A divided panel of the Second Circuit recently held that independent distributors who distribute bakery products were not transportation workers and therefore were not exempt from the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The Second Circuit, therefore, concluded that the transportation workers were bound by an arbitration clause in their agreements.

The plaintiffs were “independent distributors” who “own[ed] distribution rights” to distribute baked goods in Connecticut. The plaintiffs contracted with subsidiaries of Flowers Foods Inc. for those rights. They would “pick up” “baked goods from local Connecticut warehouses and deliver the goods to stores and restaurants within their assigned territories…

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