Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Gorlach v. Sport Club (Cal. Ct. App. - Oct. 16, 2012)

Susan Gorlach should become a lawyer.  She's clearly got what it takes.

Susy Gorlach is the Human Resources Director at the Sports Club.  (She may now be playing a lot of golf at the Annandale Golf Club).  The Sports Club decides to add an arbitration clause to its existing employment agreements, and puts Susan in charge of getting all the employees to sign.  She's diligent about doing so.  She's making everyone sign.  She's giving weekly updates to everyone at corporate about the few individuals who haven't signed, and says that while there's a few individual stragglers (and identifies them by name), they're low level people, and they'll be signed up soon.  She says that everyone big -- e.g., everyone at corporate -- has already signed.

She deliberately leaves out one thing, however.  She hasn't signed.  A fact that she's careful to conceal.  Because, after this thing drags out for a while, she decides to quit.  And promptly sues.

Sports Club moves to arbitrate.  Claiming that she deliberately concealed the fact that she hadn't signed.  Maybe; indeed, that's what the trial court holds.  But she did not, in fact, sign.  So the trial court holds there's no arbitration agreement, so she can sue.  The Court of Appeal agrees.

Ex-Human Resources Director 1 - Former Employer 0.