Disagreeing with and distinguishing Sparks v. Vista del Mar Child & Family Services (2012) 207 Cal.App.4th 1511, this decision holds that an arbitration clause set out in an appendix to the employee handbook was enforceable as against an employee who claimed not to have read or signed it. The employee did sign an acknowledgement of receipt of the handbook, and the receipt also mentioned the arbitration clause. The handbook itself prominently mentioned the arbitration clause and expressly provided that even if an employee did not sign the arbitration clause, he would be deemed to have accepted it if he continued in employment with defendant. Despite the fact that the employee handbook granted the employer the unilateral right to change the policies set out in the handbook, the arbitration clause was not illusory. It more narrowly defined the employer’s power to amend the arbitration clause in particular, limiting amendments to future disputes and providing for notice of changes and amendments were also governed by the limitation of fairness.
California Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 5 (Turner, P.J.); June 22, 2016; 2016 WL 3439751