An employer that petitioned to compel arbitration one year after the employee filed his employment-related complaint did not waive its right to arbitrate the complaint, the California Court of Appeal has ruled, confirming the burden of proving a party waived its right to arbitration is a heavy one. Gloster v. Sonic Automotive, Inc., No. A137081 (Cal. Ct. App. May 21, 2014).

The Court found the employer consistently communicated to the employee’s counsel and the court that the dispute should be arbitrated, and the delay, in large measure, was caused by the employee’s inclusion of multiple defendants in the lawsuit. It found significant that the employer filed its petition to compel arbitration shortly after the trial court resolved issues related to the other defendants, and the employee was not prejudiced by the delay. The Court reversed the order denying arbitration.

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