Flores v. Nature’s Best Distribution

In November 2014, plaintiff Julie Flores filed a complaint against defendants Nature's Best Distribution, LLC, Nature's Best, KeHe Distributors, Inc., and KeHe Distributors, LLC, alleging claims for disability discrimination, failure to engage in the interactive process, failure to accommodate disability, retaliation, failure to prevent discrimination or retaliation, and wrongful termination in violation of public policy. The complaint alleged in February or March 2014, plaintiff injured her back but continued to work until May 2014, when her back injury got worse and she was placed on medical leave for "disabling lumbar radiculopathy and spinal stenosis." Plaintiff's medical leave was extended through August 15, 2014. When plaintiff returned to the doctor, however, she was not cleared of all restrictions and was placed on further leave until August 31, 2014, on which date she would be cleared to perform modified duties from September 1 to 19, 2014. Plaintiff did not receive a doctor's note, memorializing the need to further extend her leave, until August 18, 2014, at which time she faxed it to defendants at a fax number, which she previously had used, and received a confirmation that the fax was successfully sent. Defendants denied receiving a fax. Plaintiff attempted to deliver the doctor's note in person, but learned that on August 21, 2014, her employment had been terminated for failing to return from medical leave. Defendants filed a petition to compel arbitration based on evidence that plaintiff signed an agreement for alternative dispute resolution (the Agreement). The trial court denied the petition. Defendants argued on appeal the trial court erroneously concluded defendants failed to prove plaintiff agreed to arbitrate her claims and that the arbitration provision contained in the Agreement was unenforceable because it is unconscionable. The Court of Appeal affirmed, finding defendants failed to prove plaintiff agreed to submit her claims to final and binding arbitration. View "Flores v. Nature's Best Distribution" on Justia Law