“Workers Did Not Have to Arbitrate Claims Arising Before They Signed Arbitration Agreements”

The California appellate decision in Vaughn v. Tesla Inc. is discussed by Joanne Deschenaux in this article found in SHRM. An employer hired workers who commenced their engagement through a staffing agency and, in connection with their new role as company employees, obtained their agreement to arbitrate disputes “arising from or relating to your employment.” When the employees joined a subsequently filed class action brought against the company, the company sought to compel arbitration of their claims. Because the allegations of the lawsuit encompassed the time during which they were performing services under the auspices of the staffing agency, the court bifurcated the arbitrability determination, holding that claims pertaining to conduct occurring prior to the date they became company employees did not “relate to” their employment and thus were not subject to arbitration.

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