Despite Public Policy Favoring Arbitration, Not All Agreements Are Enforceable

April 2008
Employment Law Notes
A recent opinion by Division I of the Washington State Court of Appeals serves as an important reminder to employers that, while Washington’s public policy generally favors arbitration agreements, they are not always upheld when challenged by an employee. In Rodriguez v. Windermere Real Estate/Wall St. Inc., 175 P.3d 604 (2008), the court refused to enforce an arbitration agreement that gave the employer the right to select the arbitrators from a pool of other employer-franchisee owners, brokers, managers and sales associates. In light of the Rodriguez opinion, now is a good time for employers to review and revise arbitration agreements used in employment contracts to ensure enforceability under current Washington law.