Esparza v. Sand & Sea, Inc.

Plaintiff filed suit against defendant, alleging causes of action for sexual harassment, sex discrimination, wrongful termination, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. At issue is whether an arbitration in her employee handbook is legally enforceable. In this case, the employee handbook containing the arbitration provision included a welcome letter as the first page, which stated, “[T]his handbook is not intended to be a contract (express or implied), nor is it intended to otherwise create any legally enforceable obligations on the part of the Company or its employees.” Plaintiff signed a form acknowledging she had received the handbook, which mentioned the arbitration provision as one of the “policies, practices, and procedures” of the company. The acknowledgement form did not state that plaintiff agreed to the arbitration provision, and expressly recognized that she had not read the handbook at the time she signed the form. The court found, under these circumstances, that the arbitration provision in the employee handbook did not create an enforceable agreement to arbitrate. Therefore, the court affirmed the trial court's denial of the employer's petition to compel arbitration. View "Esparza v. Sand & Sea, Inc." on Justia Law