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Fort Worth Court Of Appeals Finds Online Arbitration Policy Unenforceable

(press release: cdklawyers) // Dallas, Texas // Keith Clouse

Dallas employment attorney Keith Clouse stresses the importance of expressly notifying employees of company arbitration policies. Many companies use online acknowledgments to enter into arbitration agreements with employees. However, under Texas law, these are only enforceable if the employee received notice of the policy and accepted it. A recent opinion from the Fort Worth Court of Appeals demonstrates some of the challenges companies may face with enforcing online arbitration policies.

In Doe v. Columbia N. Hills Hosp., et al., Columbia tried to enforce an arbitration policy that was posted on its intranet website. However, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals found that Doe was not expressly notified of the arbitration policy. “Merely posting an arbitration policy on an intranet site is insufficient to give an employee notice.” Moreover, Columbia provided no evidence that Doe actually accessed the intranet site. Because Doe did not have notice of the arbitration policy, the trial court abused its discretion in compelling arbitration.

Companies should expressly notify employees of online arbitration policies and, if possible, have employees sign and acknowledge receipt of the arbitration polices.

To speak to an employment law attorney about company arbitration policies, send an email to debra@clousedunn.com or call (214) 239-2705. This article is presented by the Dallas employment law lawyers at Clouse Dunn LLP.