Former Employer Loses Bid to Compel Arbitration
A blind employee sued her former employer for disability discrimination under the Missouri Human Rights Act. She claimed her employer constructively discharged her by refusing her request for a reasonable accommodation allowing her service dog to accompany her to work. The former employer unsuccessfully moved to compel arbitration and stay the litigation. Considering the question for the first time, the Missouri Supreme Court held there was nothing to suggest the trial court erred in finding the former employee did not assent to the arbitration agreement that was contained in hiring paperwork. Abrogating prior case law, the court determined there was not clear and unmistakable evidence of the existence of the former employee's agreement to any delegation provision. Consequently, the lower court could not delegate the matter to an arbitrator whose existence depended upon the agreement.