The district court abused its discretion in denying defendant employer’s motion to compel arbitration.  Though the bonus plan document that contained the arbitration agreement was an adhesion contract, that fact established only a low level of procedural unconscionability.  Procedural unconscionability was not enhanced by the failure to provide employees with copies of AAA arbitration rules incorporated in the arbitration agreement.  Nor was there evidence to support plaintiff’s assertion she would be fired unless she signed the bonus plan agreement.  Although the arbitration clause’s attempt to exclude representative suits under PAGA was unenforceable, that did not mean the arbitration clause was unconscionable.  It was also not substantively unconscionable to provide for arbitration to occur in Minneapolis (where the company was headquartered) unless the parties agreed otherwise or the arbitrator ordered otherwise for a good reason.  The arbitration agreement’s provision that arbitration papers and proceedings remain confidential was not substantively unconscionable.  Also not unconscionable was a provision allowing the arbitrator to award attorney fees against either party for bringing frivolous claims or engaging in obstreperous behavior during the arbitration.  The arbitration agreement’s limitation on discovery was not unconscionable.  Though the employer conceded that the agreement’s unilateral exclusion of employer claims for injunctive relief from arbitration was unconscionable, that provision could be severed, allowing enforcement of the rest of the arbitration agreement.’

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Ikuta, J.); February 3, 2017; 2017 WL 461099