Darden: continuing trend of pro-arbitration decisions

The California Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Leos v Darden Restaurants continues the nationwide trend of courts enforcing arbitration provisions according to their terms.

The two plaintiffs alleged causes of action against their former employer, Darden Restaurants, under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and common law causes of action. They also sought declaratory relief that Darden’s arbitration provision was unenforceable.

When both employees were hired, they signed an acknowledgment stating that they had read and reviewed Darden’s dispute resolution process (DRP) booklet containing the arbitration provision at issue. After the plaintiffs filed their lawsuit, Darden filed a motion to compel arbitration pursuant to the DRP. The DRP provides a four-step process for the parties to resolve their dispute, the last of which allows either the employee or Darden to submit the matter to binding arbitration according to the Employment Dispute Resolution Rules of the American Arbitration Association…

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