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Employer That Proceeds Directly to Termination Without Invoking Arbitration Provision, Waives Right to Arbitration

In the case Crider v. Gmri, Inc., 2020-Ohio-3668, 2020-Ohio-3668, 2020 Ohio App. LEXIS 2595, an Ohio appellate court found in plaintiff’s sexual harassment action against her former employer, denial of defendants’ motion to dismiss or stay proceedings pending arbitration was not error where plaintiff’s claims relating to and arising from sexual assault were independent of the employment relationship and not a foreseeable result of employment. Defendants never produced a copy of arbitration agreement with plaintiff’s signature, and defendants proceeded directly to termination without invoking any steps in the arbitration provision, thereby waiving it, R.C. 2711.02(B).

In this case, Plaintiff applied for and was employed by Defendant. In the course of her application, Plaintiff was presented with the arbitration agreement, but there is no evidence that Crider signed the arbitration agreement, and there is insufficient evidence that she otherwise manifested assent to it. Under the totality of the circumstances, GMRI proceeded directly to termination, and did invoke any of the steps in the provision. GMRI acted inconsistently with the terms of arbitration, thereby waiving it. Therefore, on this record, we conclude that the trial court properly refused to enforce the arbitration provision.

To read this case, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.

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