Friday, August 1, 2014

Yet Another Arbitration Decision

Galen v. Redfin Corp., No. A138642 (D1d1 July 21, 2014)

An arbitration clause in plaintiff’s employment contract says that all disputes “arising out of or related to this Agreement . . . shall be resolved by binding arbitration within the State of Washington.” Unsurprisingly, the court holds that a broad clause like that encompasses a statutory claim alleging misclassification as an independent contractor. As the California Supreme Court recently addressed in the class action context , the employee/independent contractor distinction turns principally whether the employment contract gives the company the right to control the worker’s performance. So a dispute over classification certainly relates to the agreement. Nor does the court find the arbitration agreement to be unconscionable. Its obligations are mutual and the fact that it provides for prevailing party attorney’s fees and choice of venue in defendant’s home state did not make it fundamentally unfair.


Reversed.


**Note: Review granted, November 12, 2014.

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