آخر تحديث - 3 ديسمبر 2020
Carmona v. Lincoln Millennium Car Wash, Inc., B248143 (Pub. May 9, 2014 Order: In a recent decision, a California court of appeals upheld a court`s conclusion that an arbitration agreement was unacceptable. The Court of Appeal also upheld the first instance`s refusal to separate the non-offensive parts of the agreement from the unspeakable provisions. In declaring that the agreement was “unacceptable,” the Tribunal referred to the “systemic lack of reciprocity” in favour of the employer, without justification. Spencer Skeen, managing partner of Ogletree Deakins` San Diego office, said: “This case shows how important it is to be precise in the development of an arbitration agreement. The agreement should always be reciprocal. It should grant the same rights and obligations to the employer and the worker. In addition, it should be translated into the employee`s primary language.
The employees of the Carmona case spoke Spanish. Employers have translated only part of the agreement and have left many important sections only in English. Spanish is the main language for a significant percentage of the Californian population. For this reason, employers should consider translating their arbitration agreements into Spanish or another language that might apply to their employees. The Tribunal found that the arbitration agreement was procedurally and materially unacceptable. The Tribunal`s conclusion that the agreement had a “high probability of proceedings” was based on the fact that: 1) the agreement was presented on a “take or let rest”; 2) employers do not make available to workers a copy of the arbitration rules covered in the agreement; and 3) Some of the most important parts of the agreement have not been translated into Spanish. Although the court found that there was a valid lease agreement between Westmont and the mobile home owners, it did not force arbitration because the arbitration decision was procedurally and materially unacceptable. The court found that mobile homeowners (i) were under economic pressure to enter into leases because they were already paying for mobile homes and could not afford other accommodation, and (ii) had not been informed that the cost of a jam arbitrator was between $500 and $800 per hour and $5,000 to $10,000 per day.