“Loud, Profane, Disrespectful” And “Confrontational” Employee Misconduct Not Sufficient to Warrant Discipline, According to the NLRB
- Written by Jacquelyn E. Larson
- Written by Rebecca A. Hause-Schultz
Arbitration agreements are a useful tool for employers to protect themselves from class action litigation. However, arbitration agreements alone do not necessarily prevent a case from proceeding in arbitration as a class action. On July 28, 2016 in Sandquist v. Lebo Automotive Inc., et al., the California Supreme Court addressed the question of who decides whether an arbitration agreement prohibits class wide arbitration—a court or the arbitrator.
In Sandquist, Plaintiff was an employee at Defendants’ auto dealership. On Plaintiff’s first day of employment, his manager gave him numerous papers to sign, including an arbitration agreement. Plaintiff, who is African-American, filed individual and class claims against Defendants for pay discrimination based on race, being subjected to a hostile work environment, and passed over for promotions because of his race. Defendants moved to compel individual arbitration based on the arbitration agreement, which included a class action waiver, signed by Plaintiff on his first day of work. The trial court found the arbitration agreement enforceable and not unconscionable, and granted Defendants’ Petition to compel individual arbitration.