This matter involved a lawsuit brought in Texas federal court by a former employee (Huckaba) against Ref-Chem L.P., alleging sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation in violation of Title VII. Ref-Chem moved to dismiss the lawsuit and compel arbitration, which was granted by the Texas district court, finding that Huckaba's "continued employment" after she signed an arbitration agreement "constituted acceptance of that agreement" by both parties, even though Ref-Chem never executed the agreement. Huckaba appealed to the Fifth Circuit.
The Fifth Circuit reversed the Texas district court's judgment, holding that the express language of the arbitration agreement at issue required for it to be signed by both parties and it was undisputed that Ref-Chem did not sign the agreement. Therefore, there was no valid agreement to arbitrate in this case, and thus, the court remanded to the district court for further proceedings.
Huckaba v. Ref-Chem, L.P., No. 17-50341 (5th Cir. June 11, 2018).
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