Question: Mantor began working for Circuit City in August 1992 When
Mantor began working for Circuit City in August 1992. When Circuit City hired Mantor, it had no arbitration program. In 1995, Circuit City instituted an arbitration program called the "Associate Issue Resolution Program" (AIRP). Circuit City emphasized to managers the importance of full participation in the AIRP, claiming that the company had been losing money because of lawsuits filed by employees. Circuit City management stressed that employees had little choice in this matter. They suggested that employees should sign the agreement or prepare to be terminated. Although Circuit City circulated the forms regarding the AIRP in 1995, Mantor was able to avoid either signing up or openly refusing to participate in the AIRP for three years. In 1998, two Circuit City managers arranged a meeting with Mantor to discuss his participation in the AIRP. During this meeting, Mantor asked the two Circuit City managers what would happen should he decline to participate in the arbitration program. They responded to the effect that he would have no future with Circuit City. In February of 1998, Mantor agreed to participate in the AIRP, acknowledging in writing his receipt of (1) an "Associate Issue Resolution Handbook," (2) the "Circuit City Dispute Resolution Rules and Procedures," and (3) a "Circuit City Arbitration Opt-Out Form." Under its arbitration program, Circuit City requires an employee to pay a $75 filing fee to initiate an arbitration proceeding. There is a provision for waiving this fee at Circuit City's discretion. In October 2000 Circuit City terminated Mantor's employment. A year later, Mantor brought a civil action in state court, alleging 12 causes of action. Circuit City petitioned the district court to compel arbitration, and the district court granted Circuit City's motion to compel arbitration. Mantor appealed, arguing that the arbitration agreement was unenforceable because it was unconscionable. Was it unconscionable?
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