When an El Pollo Loco restaurant manager filed a wage lawsuit, the company pointed to its handbook that said (in English and small type) “all employment-related disputes must be resolved through binding arbitration.” The manager argued that employees didn’t understand what they were signing and, therefore, the policy wasn’t valid. The court agreed and let the class-action case proceed. (Olvera v. El Pollo Loco, California Court of Appeal)
Lesson: Use plain language in key documents and policies. Use simple sentences and a readable font. Also, publish them in Spanish if that’s the first language for some employees. Courts rarely interfere with agreements that are clear and that employees enter into freely.