Sparks v. Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services: Court Refuses To Enforce Arbitration Clause Contained In Employee Handbook


by Sayema Hameed

If an employer includes an arbitration clause in a written employee handbook, provides the handbook to an employee, and obtains a written acknowledgment of receipt of the handbook from the employee, is that enough to enable the employer to compel arbitration of the employee’s wrongful termination claims?  In a recent case, the California Court of Appeal has said “NO.”

Robles v. Employment Development Department: Employee’s Attempt To Use Shoe Allowance For Friend Does Not Disqualify Him From Unemployment Benefits


by Sayema Hameed

In California, a terminated employee will be disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits if the employee is found to have engaged in “misconduct” connected with his or her most recent work.  (Cal. Unemp. Ins. Code Section 1256.)

In a new case, Robles v. Employment Development Department (First District, Div. Four, Case No. A132773; filed 7/16/12), the Court of Appeal analyzed whether a terminated employee committed job-related misconduct when he attempted to use his safety shoe allowance (provided by the employer) to purchase shoes for his friend.  The answer: No, he did not engage in job-related misconduct and, therefore, he is not disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.