An employer tried to enforce an arbitration agreement. The one it never signed.

https://www.theemployerhandbook.com/files/2018/06/writing-hand-business-brand-contract-handwriting-854901-pxhere.com_.jpg

Image Credit: PXhere.com (https://pxhere.com/en/photo/854901)

Well, there’s always a chance the court might, you know, enforce it.

You think?

Actually, the employer almost got away with it had it not been for those meddling kids the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Here’s what happened:

A plaintiff sued her former employer in Texas federal court. The employer moved to compel arbitration. In support, it attached a copy of the arbitration agreement that only the plaintiff had signed when her employment began. The district court granted the employer’s motion, concluding that the plaintiff’s “continued employment after signing the Arbitration Agreement constitute[d] acceptance of that agreement by both” her and the employer.

On appeal, the Fifth Circuit was kinda like

Here is a copy of the opinion in which the appellate court reversed the lower court. And here is the Fifth Circuit’s rationale:

  • The arbitration agreement stated that both parties needed to sign for it to become effective.
  • The plaintiff-employee signed.
  • The defendant-employee did not.
  • The agreement is not effective.
  • Thus, neither side must arbitrate.

I’ll wait patiently while you pull out every arbitration agreement that you have to ensure that the company has signed it.

Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Maybe, I’ll just come back tomorrow with another blog post.

“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”