On August 20, 2012, in Sparks v. Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services (2012 DJAR 11581), the court did not uphold an employment arbitration clause. The court underscored the critical nature of "specifically" acknowledging the existence of the arbitration clause before the employee could be held to it. The court additionally found that the voluminous nature of the employee handbook, where the arbitration clause could be located, was an important factor when determining whether to hold the former employee to that clause.
Arbitration is a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution, meaning individuals agree to resolve their dispute outside of the traditional litigation realm. Where there is a valid arbitration clause, during a dispute parties agree to submit themselves to the arbitrator who, after hearing the evidence, renders a binding decision that (usually) cannot be appealed. In the standard course of affairs, arbitration clauses are typically upheld due to their favored status in the United States. This is mostly because arbitration relieves an immense amount of pressure on the American judicial system. This is especially the case in California, where courts are experiencing a record level of court personnel layoffs and courtroom closures.
If you are experiencing a legal issue that involves an arbitration clause, please do not hesitate to contact a Southern California employment law attorney today.
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