Reversing Trial And Appellate Courts, Texas Supreme Court Compels Employment Arbitration Based On Company’s Disputed Claim That Agreements Were Electronically Signed

In Aerotek, Inc. v. Boyd, the Supreme Court of Texas granted an employer’s application to compel arbitration of claims brought by four terminated employees based upon electronic records ostensibly demonstrating the parties’ agreements to arbitrate. In reaching this conclusion, the Supreme Court reversed the trial court and a divided appeals court which, relying on affidavits signed by the employees, found that the employees had not electronically signed the agreements upon which the employer relied.

In reversing, the Supreme Court accepted the company’s factual evidence about its onboarding, electronic contracting process to conclude agreements had been reached, notwithstanding the employees’ sworn denials.

In dissent, one justice took issue with the majority’s decision, asserting that the Supreme Court was improperly intruding on the trial court’s province to find the facts. As he noted, “[t]o put things bluntly, someone here testified under oath to facts that cannot be true. Either the employees were wrong (or lying) when they denied that they ever saw or signed the arbitration agreement, or Aerotek’s program manager was wrong (or lying) when she described how the electronic-onboarding process works.”

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