Judge Orders Arbitration in TX Sexual Harassment Case
Angela Jones of Beaumont, TX apparently didn't know it, but she signed away all rights to sue employer JK Chevrolet of Nederland, TX in court. A judge recently ruled that Jones's suit against the employer is invalid in court and must go to arbitration instead.
What Caused the Lawsuit Against JK Chevrolet?
Ms. Jones filed the suit in April of 2011. She alleged that one of her co-workers—another woman—groped her on two separate occasions in 2010.
Jones claims that she was forced to terminate her employment because of the harassment, and therefore lost income, for which she sued. She also brought suit for punitive damages. Jones claims to have suffered mental anguish.
The Original Sexual Harassment Suit Against the Employer
Jones alleges that she was forced to leave her job because her employer took no action to stop the allegedly harassing employee's behavior. She also claims her former employer violated the Texas Commission of Human Rights act.
In addition to actual and punitive damages, Jones is also seeking reimbursement for attorney fees, pre-judgement interest, post-judgement interest, and other attorney costs.
Where Legal Arbitration Comes In
In November of last year, employer JK Chevrolet of Nederland, TX filed a motion to dismiss the proceedings and move the case into arbitration. The company claims it has a written agreement with Ms. Jones that would bind her to arbitration.
The agreement was signed the same month she went to work for the car dealership, December 2009. The employer claimed that in the agreement, Ms. Jones ceded her right to sue the business, as well as her right to trial by jury regarding the business.
Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, granted JK Chevrolet's motion to move to arbitration in February 2012.