Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Friday, December 03, 2004

Signature Not Required for Arbitration Agreement, But Absence Can Lead To Fact Question

And when the fact question is decided against you at the trial court, the presumptions strongly favor the appellate court affirming. Faced with a personnel file with no acknowledgement signed by the employee, the employee's affidavit that she did not receive critical parts of the arbitration program, and the trial court's ruling that there was no arbitration agreement, here is what the Court said:
We may not overturn the trial court’s decision unless that court could reasonably have reached only the opposite decision.
Unable to say that was the case, the Court upheld the denial of the motion to compel arbitration. In re: Dillard Department Stores, Inc. (Tx. App. - El Paso 11/24/04) [pdf].

Managing the logistical issues of an arbitration program for an employer of any size is no small feat, but for a larger employer in numerous locations it is almost physically impossible to do so without some slip ups. It is amazing how often it seems the slip up had to happen with one who ultimately sues.


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