To become paperless, many employers send and obtain electronic signatures for important working papers. A Decision of the California Court of Appeals of December 23, 2014 highlights the dangers that employers can pose if they rely on a fully electronic system. In Ruiz v. Moss Bros. Auto Group, Inc. [pdf] (Case No. E057529), the court refused to enforce an employer`s arbitration agreement and found that the employer had failed to provide sufficient evidence that the electronic signature on the arbitration agreement was the employee`s “act.” The Federal Electronic Signs Act defines an electronic signature as “an electronic sound, a symbol, a process assigned to a contract or other data set, or that is logically bound to it and that is executed or accepted by a person with the intention of signing the protocol and being legally bound.” For example, entering your name, loading a written signature, and clicking a button with the inscription “I agree.” In California, the general principles of contract law determine whether the parties have entered into a binding conciliation agreement. California has passed the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act, which recognizes the validity of electronic signatures. (Cal. Civ.
Code Section 1633.1.) Under this Act, an electronic signature has the same legal effect as a handwritten signature and “…a The legal effect or enforceable force should not be denied simply because they are available electronically. (Cal. Civ. Code, Section 1633.7, Subd. (a) The letter must be authenticated before the letter or secondary evidence of its contents can be provided as evidence. (Evid. Section 1401.) “A) obtaining evidence involves (a) the introduction of sufficient evidence to support the finding that the proponent of the evidence claims to be or (b) the finding of such facts by other statutory means.” The Court of Appeal stated that its role in reviewing the case was not to reassess the credibility of the witnesses or to override the evidence on appeal. Rather, it was tasked with determining whether the law had been properly enforced. Thus, the Court of Appeal upheld the Tribunal`s order to refuse the arbitration hearing. The Third Circuit`s decision at Dicent v.
Kaplan University emphasizes that you can`t just rely on the electronic signing of a contract to avoid its application. Before a contract is “signed,” it is imperative to read it in depth and make sure you understand how it can influence your legal rights, including the ability to pursue claims in court and arbitration proceedings. Ruiz v. Moss Bros. Auto Group, Inc. points to a new argument that counsel for the plaintiffs may use to invalidate arbitration agreements. Therefore, employers should assess how and how to obtain electronic signatures from workers and ensure that these signatures are verified and charged to the worker when questioned in court. The new recruitments complete their working papers on the restaurant`s computer. They register with their username and password and enter biographical and tax information. The documents contain an arbitration agreement and arbitration rules and procedures. The Tribunal found that, although this was a limited case and both parties presented plausible scenarios, the employer did not fulfill its duties to prove that the worker had accepted the agreement. As a result, the court rejected the restaurant`s request to force arbitration.
The employer appealed. In their application for release, the defendants argued that, although what Mr. Cruz used was still bound by the arbitration agreement, the fact that his son was his agent and/or that he was clearly entitled to sign his father`s name. The regional court granted the request for a kaplan of rejection and forced settlement. Dicent`s argument was that his electronic signature was used without his consent, which was not supported by any evidence.