Ferguson v. Countrywide Credit Industries, Inc.

298 F.3d 778 (9th Cir. 2002)


Ferguson (P) filed a complaint against Countrywide (D) alleging sexual harassment, retaliation and hostile work environment under 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2(a) and under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. D filed a petition to compel arbitration. When P was hired, she was required to sign D’s conditions of employment, which stated she must execute an arbitration agreement consenting to arbitration of all claims and controversies. P denied she signed the agreement and requested a jury trial on that issue under section 4 of the Federal Arbitration Act. The district court denied D’s petition to compel arbitration. The court found that P raised a genuine dispute regarding the making of the agreement and it ruled that the agreement itself was unconscionable under Aremendariz and under Duffield; P cannot be compelled to arbitrate Title VII claims. D appealed.