Tron Arbitration Challenged in Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit

A legal challenge is calling on a court to overturn an order allowing the central organization developing the Tron cryptocurrency to privately litigate a lawsuit through arbitration.

Richard Hall and Lukasz Juraszek, employees fired from the Tron Foundation last year, filed a writ of mandamus with the First District Court of Appeal in California in San Francisco on June 17 to reverse arbitration in a lawsuit alleging wrongful termination and hostile work practices at BitTorrent, a file-sharing service acquired in 2018 by the Tron Foundation. In March the San Francisco Superior Court approved the Tron Foundation’s and BitTorrent’s request to settle the lawsuit in arbitration instead of in court.

Parties to the lawsuit and their lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.

Unlike an appeal, where an open-ended judgment on a civil or criminal case’s final outcome is rendered potentially after several years, a writ of mandamus decides within months whether a court fulfilled or violated its obligations.

The writ of mandamus says the Tron Foundation and BitTorrent submitted inadmissible documents supporting an arbitration agreement that contained illegal contractual terms. According to the writ of mandamus, the San Francisco Superior Court acknowledged the arbitration agreement was “unconscionable,” or skewed to favor the employer, but sided with the Tron Foundation and BitTorrent anyway.

The San Francisco Superior Court ruled the arbitration agreement was valid as long as the employees saw, and took the initiative to sign, the paperwork. Hall and Juraszek responded in February to the Tron Foundation’s and BitTorrent’s motion to compel arbitration by claiming they had not read or were not permitted to negotiate the agreement.

The lawsuit alleges Tron Chief Executive Officer Justin Sun and Tron head of engineering Cong Li assaulted Tron personnel during office meetings, favored Chinese employees and harassed Hall and Juraszek for alerting the…

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