Glassdoor’s Exposed Job Hunters Must Arbitrate Claims

MANHATTAN (CN) — Sending 600,000 job hunters to arbitration, a federal judge said his court is the wrong venue for claims that Glassdoor exposed its users’ personal information.

With a name suggesting transparency and opportunity, Glassdoor lets users post reviews of their employers and browse through reports about the salary and benefits available at companies where they might seek future jobs.

Confidentiality is essential to the billion-dollar business – a point three Glassdoor users led by Pablo Pincaro emphasized when they brought a federal class action last year to make the company pay for breaching theirs.

In July 2016, one month before the users filed suit in New York, they received a notice about changes to Glassdoor’s terms of use that allegedly exposed the email addresses of at least 600,000 members.

Right around this time, however, other Silicon Valley giants like Uber and Airbnb invoked mandatory arbitration clauses to try to swat away their own legal headaches.

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled Tuesday that Glassdoor enjoys the same privilege.

“If the court determines that a valid agreement to arbitrate exists, the court must then determine whether the particular dispute falls within the scope of arbitration agreement,” Ramos wrote.

“Here, plaintiffs do not assert that any of their claims fall outside the Glassdoor’s arbitration provision,” the 21-page opinion continues.

Ramos stayed the class action pending the outcome of arbitration.

While class counsel Sergei Lemberg, of Wilton, Conn., did not respond to a request for comment, Glassdoor applauded the ruling.

“We are pleased that the court agreed with us that our terms of use govern any disputes between our users and the company,” a spokesman for the company said in an email.

Glassdoor was represented by Stephen Saxl with Greenberg Traurig, but the attorney was not available to comment.

The ruling fell shortly after the Atlanta-based credit monitoring company Equifax announced that hackers compromised the sensitive information of 143 million Americans between mid-May and July of this year.

Sparking a cascade of litigation, Equifax’s belated announcement of the breach also put it in the crosshairs of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, whose office opened an investigation on Friday.

Schneiderman’s office reached a deal forcing Equifax to abandon its mandatory arbitration clauses on Tuesday.

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