This decision affirms denial of the employer-defendant’s motion to compel arbitration under an agreement that delegated arbitrability questions to the arbitrator.  The arbitration agreement and its delegation clause were both unconscionable for the same reasons.  Procedurally, the agreement was presented as an adhesion contract that employees had to sign to retain employment.  Also the agreement was nine pages of 10 pt. type with nothing to bring the arbitration agreement or its delegation clause to the reader’s attention.  Substantively, the agreement and clause were unconscionable because the agreement provided for (1) the parties to split arbitration costs unless the arbitrator found they would impose a hardship on the employee, (2) an award of attorney fees to the prevailing party, and (3) the arbitration to be venued in Texas (though plaintiff was employed in California).  Requiring an employee share costs of arbitration is unconscionable under Armendariz v. Foundation Health Psychcare Services, Inc. (2000) 24 Cal.4th 83.  So is increasing the employee’s financial risk, as through a provision allowing the employer to recover attorney fees if it prevails.  The distant venue added to the substantive unconscionability of the fee provisions.  Since all three of these unconscionable provisions applied to the arbitrator’s consideration of threshold issues of arbitrability as well as the substance of the dispute, they rendered the delegation clause as well as the entire arbitration agreement unconscionable and unenforceable.  The several unconscionable provisions could not be severed from the arbitration agreement to save the remainder, nor would the employer’s voluntary waiver of those provisions avoid unenforceability of the agreement.labor