Respondents Antonia Vasquez and Cecilia Zacarias were hired by appellant Employer’s Depot, Inc. (EDI), a staffing agency. EDI was respondents’ employer when they worked on assignment. Respondents and EDI agreed in writing to arbitrate “all disputes that may arise within the employment context.”
EDI assigned respondents to pack produce for appellant San Miguel Produce, Inc. Respondents later sued San Miguel for labor law violations. San Miguel cross-complained, blaming EDI for causing respondents’ alleged damages. Appellants jointly moved to compel arbitration. The trial court denied their motion. (Code Civ. Proc., §1281.2.)
On de novo review, we conclude that arbitration is mandated. Appellants are co-employers with an identity of interests and mutual responsibility for complying with state law governing employers in the produce packing industry. It is inconsequential that respondents chose not to name EDI as a defendant. They agreed to arbitrate “all disputes” arising from their employment. At all relevant times EDI was their employer. We reverse and remand with directions to stay court proceedings and order the parties to arbitrate their dispute.
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