Friday, March 7, 2014

Nothing to See Here. Move Along (to Arbitration).

Sanchez v. Carmax Auto Superstores, No. B244772 (D2d1 Mar. 4, 2014)
 

This is an employment dispute that the defendant moved to compel into arbitration based on an arbitration agreement with its employee. The trial court denied the motion because it found that the agreement was “permeated with unconscionabililty. But Justice Johnson and two of his colleagues in Division One disagree. Because entering the agreement was a take-it-or-leave-it condition of employment, the court agrees that it is mildly procedurally unconscionable. When it comes to substantive unconscionabilty, however, none of the issues raised by the plaintiff or the trial court meet the mark. Mild limitations on discovery, a requirement that plaintiff fill out a claim form, the fact that arbitrated claims would be preclusive on future lawsuits, a requirement that the arbitrator apply the law of at-will employment to the at-will employed plaintiff’s claim, the arbitrator’s discretion to make factual findings, a confidentiality provision, and a prohibition on consolidation of different plaintiffs’ claims were all run-of-the-mill arbitration provisions that did not render the agreement substantively unconscionable. So the agreement should have been enforced by the trial court.

Reversed.

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