Authenticity Of Agreement To Arbitrate Was Called Into Question.
The Court of Appeal has affirmed the trial court’s denial of a petition to compel arbitration, concluding “that the trial court did not err in finding that appellants failed to establish that [respondent] signed the employment agreement.” Joyce v. Volt Management Corp., D067867 (4/1 May 17, 2016) (Aaron, Prager, Huffman) (unpublished). The employee presented enough evidence such as that there was a substantial basis for the trial court’s conclusion that the employer had not established the authenticity of the agreement. Among other things, the employee did not remember receiving the agreement, and when he requested his personnel file, he did not receive the employment agreement, and the employer failed to submit an affidavit from an employee who might have authenticate the agreement.
There were additional problems beyond establishing the authenticity of a signed employment agreement. While the employee handbook contained an arbitration agreement, it could not be enforced b4ecause it was expressly superseded by a separate employee orientation guide. Furthermore, because later documentation expressly called for a signature to be effective, but did not have one, merely continuing to work was not enough to validate the arbitration agreement.