Insurance Company Seeks Ex-Employee Arbitration for Discrimination and Harassment

Reagan’s statement attached a document, which included the same language in the last two pages of the manual, which stated that the applicant acknowledged the information, checked the box next to the statement of acknowledgment, and clicked the ” Completed” on a specific date.

The court of first instance rejected the request for compulsory arbitration. The court concluded the following:

  • The defendants have not proven that the plaintiff accepted the arbitration clause of the manual;
  • Defendants did not provide any email confirmation sent to Plaintiff after she agreed to the terms of the manual;
  • Such an agreement, if it existed, would be unenforceable because it was procedurally and substantively inadmissible.

The California Court of Appeals for the Second District, affirming the trial court’s decision, held that the trial court had jurisdiction to determine whether the parties had agreed to arbitrate.

The Court of Appeal determined that the evidence did not support the defendants’ claim that the plaintiff had agreed to arbitrate. First, the Applicant’s testimony that she did not remember clicking on the “Done” box did not necessarily contradict her prior testimony that she had never clicked on the box. In any event, the trial court properly resolved any possible inconsistencies, the appeals court found.

Second, the Claimant’s testimony that she did not recall agreeing to arbitrate, as well as her statement that she would not have accepted the position had she known of the arbitration provision, adequately discharged its burden of opposing the defendant’s motion to compel arbitration. Thus, the charge shifted to the defendants. The appeals court found no error in the trial court’s decision that the defendants failed to meet their burden of proof.