Staffing Management

Legal Briefing: ‘Bargain’ Hunters Beware

By Staff Report

Dec. 7, 2015

Employers often include arbitration provisions in their employee applications, handbooks, agreements and other documents. In the case of Universal Protection Service LP v. Superior Court, the employer, Universal Protection Service, also known as UPS, included an arbitration provision in its employment agreements. The arbitration agreement referenced the American Arbitration Association’s, or AAA’s, rules for employment arbitrations. When a group of employees sued, bringing a representative action and a purported class-action lawsuit against UPS, the company filed a cross-complaint seeking to compel individual arbitration.

While the trial court did stay the action pending the outcome of arbitration, the trial court did not provide UPS with the requested declaration that the arbitration agreement barred class-action relief. The court of appeals agreed with the trial court’s decision, noting that the arbitration agreement, drafted by UPS, incorporated the AAA rules. As such, the appeals court declined to order the trial court to decide the issue of class arbitration. Universal Protection Service LP v. Superior Court 239 Cal. App. 4th 697 (Aug. 18, 2015)

Impact: Employers must be careful in crafting their arbitration agreements in order to get the full benefit of the bargain. Incorporating documents by reference in arbitration provisions or other contracts runs the risk that the terms of the incorporated document will be interpreted as modifying the apparent meaning of the agreement. Given the skepticism some courts appear to have regarding employer-employee arbitration, employers must be particularly careful to avoid any possible pitfalls. 


blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

HR Administration

Rest and lunch break laws in every US state

Summary Federal law does not require meal or rest breaks Some states have laws requiring meal and rest ...

workforce blog

Staffing Management

What is labor forecasting?

Summary Labor forecasting helps businesses determine where, when, what kind, and how many employees are...

demand forecasting, labor forecasting, labor modeling, staffing

workforce blog

Staffing Management

How staffing agencies can better manage a remote workforce

Summary As remote work continues its rise, modern workforce management technology is being adopted – st...

remote employees, scheduling, staffing, time and attendance management