CourtCases2010

Beauregard also signed an acknowledgment of receipt

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Unformatted text preview: t inconsistent, the then prevailing rules of the Federal Arbitration Act) will apply. Beauregard also signed an "Acknowledgment of Receipt" of a KFC employee handbook that similarly provided that any dispute regarding compensation, employment, or termination from employment would be resolved by arbitration. When Beauregard filed her complaint, KFC moved to dismiss it and to compel arbitration. Beauregard, in opposing KFC's motion, [**3] argued that the arbitration agreements could not be applied retroactively -- that the provisions referred only to arbitration of claims that "arise" between herself and KFC which limited application of the provisions to future claims. The trial court denied KFC's motions. It is now an axiom of federal and Florida law that written agreements to arbitrate are binding and enforceable. A court must compel arbitration if an arbitrable issue exists. Dean Witter Reynolds, Inc. v. Byrd, 470 U.S. 213, 218, 84 L. Ed. 2d 158, 105 S. Ct. 1238 (1985); Gale Group, Inc. v. Westinghouse Elec. Corp., 683 So. 2d 661, 663 (Fla. 5th DCA 1996); North American Van Lines v. Collyer, 616 So. 2d 177 (Fla. 5th DCA 1993); 9 U.S.C. § 2; § 682.02, Fla. Stat. (1997). Public policy favors arbitration as an efficient means of settling disputes, because it avoids the delays and expenses of litigation. Gale Group at 663. In view of that public policy, all questions concerning the scope or waiver of the right to arbitrate should be resolved in favor of arbitration rather than against it. EMSA Ltd. Partnership v. Mason, 677 So. 2d 105, 107 (Fla. [**4] 4th DCA 1996); Beverly Hills Dev. Corp. v. George Wimpey of Fla., Inc., 661 So. 2d 969, 971 (Fla. 5th DCA 1995); Regency Group, Inc. v. McDaniels, 647 So. 2d 192, 193 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994). We find the language in the application and the KFC handbook to be unambiguous in the expressed intent that employment-related disputes be arbitrated regardless of when Beauregard signed the applicable arbitration agreements. Significantly, the term "claim" was used in the agreements and the facts show that while the alleged attack leading to...
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