Vazquez v. SaniSure, Inc., 101 Cal. App. 5th 139 (2024)

Jasmine Vazquez began working at a pharmaceutical company through a staffing agency and was later hired by the company as an at-will employee.  At the time of initial hire, Vazquez agreed that claims she had against the company would be submitted to and determined exclusively by binding arbitration and that she would bring any claim individually, waiving her right to pursue a class or collective action.  Two years into her first period of employment she terminated her employment but then returned to the company a few months later and negotiated a new employment agreement.  The parties did not discuss whether she would need to sign an arbitration agreement again or whether her claims related to her employment would be subject to arbitration.  Her second period of employment with the company ended less than a year later.

After her second period of employment, Vazquez filed a class action in which she alleged the company failed to provide proper wage statements during her second period of employment.  The employer moved to compel the complaint to arbitration.  The trial court denied the motion to compel arbitration, holding that the parties did not agree to arbitrate claims arising from Vazquez’s second stint of employment, nor did the employer “show the existence of an implied agreement to submit claims arising from that second stint to arbitration; the agreement covering [plaintiff’s] first stint of employment terminated in May 2021, and there was no evidence that the parties intended it to apply thereafter.”  The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision as the employer “failed to carry its ‘almost impossible’ burden of showing that the trial court erred as a matter of law when it denied the motion to compel arbitration.”

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Photo of Tony Oncidi Tony Oncidi

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including…

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection. A substantial portion of Tony’s practice involves the defense of employers in large class actions, employment discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination litigation in state and federal court as well as arbitration proceedings, including FINRA matters.

Tony is recognized as a leading lawyer by such highly respected publications and organizations as the Los Angeles Daily JournalThe Hollywood Reporter, and Chambers USA, which gives him the highest possible rating (“Band 1”) for Labor & Employment.  According to Chambers USA, clients say Tony is “brilliant at what he does… He is even keeled, has a high emotional IQ, is a great legal writer and orator, and never gives up.” Other clients report:  “Tony has an outstanding reputation” and he is “smart, cost effective and appropriately aggressive.” Tony is hailed as “outstanding,” particularly for his “ability to merge top-shelf lawyerly advice with pragmatic business acumen.” He is highly respected in the industry, with other commentators lauding him as a “phenomenal strategist” and “one of the top employment litigators in the country.”

“Tony is the author of the treatise titled Employment Discrimination Depositions (Juris Pub’g 2020; www.jurispub.com), co-author of Proskauer on Privacy (PLI 2020), and, since 1990, has been a regular columnist for the official publication of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

Tony has been a featured guest on Fox 11 News and CBS News in Los Angeles. He has been interviewed and quoted by leading national media outlets such as The National Law JournalBloomberg News, The New York Times, and Newsweek and Time magazines. Tony is a frequent speaker on employment law topics for large and small groups of employers and their counsel, including the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”), PIHRA, the National CLE Conference, National Business Institute, the Employment Round Table of Southern California (Board Member), the Council on Education in Management, the Institute for Corporate Counsel, the State Bar of California, the California Continuing Education of the Bar Program and the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Bar Associations. He has testified as an expert witness regarding wage and hour issues as well as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and has served as a faculty member of the National Employment Law Institute. He has served as an arbitrator in an employment discrimination matter.

Tony is an appointed Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission Board of Rights and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law and a guest lecturer at USC Law School and a guest lecturer at UCLA Law School.