[Opinion certified for partial publication.
Respondent Antonio Vianna sued The Doctors' Management Company (Doctors) and three individuals for damages arising out of the termination of his employment with Doctors. Doctors appeals from an order denying its petition to compel arbitration pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.2.
Vianna began his employment at Doctors on May 29, 1990, as vice-president for human resources. While employed by Doctors, Vianna had three annual written employment contracts, one for each year of employment. The last employment contract was executed on July 20, 1992, and covered the year beginning July 1, 1992, through June 30, 1993.
The contract included a termination clause allowing either party to terminate the agreement "with or without cause and without regard to any verbal or implied company policy or practice upon thirty (30) days written notice to the other." In addition, the contract contained an arbitration clause which provided "[i]n the event of any dispute of any kind whatsoever, regarding the meaning, interpretation or enforcement of the provisions of this Agreement, both parties agree that the matter shall be resolved through the use of binding arbitration as provided in California Code of Civil Procedure 1280 et seq." The contract also included an integration clause confirming that it set forth "the entire agreement between the parties."
On March 2, 1993, Dr. Sabella, Doctors's chairman, president and chief executive officer, met with Vianna and accused him of "hitting on" another employee's husband. Dr. Sabella also told Vianna that he thought Vianna was gay. Vianna denied both assertions.
Sabella gave Vianna the option of either resigning from employment or being terminated. If Vianna chose to resign, Doctors would make a severance payment to him. Vianna chose to resign.
The trial court denied Doctors's motion to compel arbitration on the ground that "the language of the Arbitration Clause in the employment contract is narrow and does not encompass the myriad of claims brought by Mr. Vianna in his complaint filed against `Doctors'...." The issue thus presented is whether the trial court correctly interpreted the language of the parties' arbitration agreement.
The arbitration clause in this case is comparable to the one construed in Merrick v. Writers Guild of America, West, Inc., supra, 130 Cal.App.3d 212. The issue in Merrick was whether an agreement to arbitrate "[a]ny dispute ... concerning the interpretation of any of the terms of [the contract] and the application and effect of such terms" was broad enough to encompass an action sounding in tort rather than contract. (Id., at p. 217.) The court concluded that arbitration was required because the action "ha[d] its roots in the relationship between the parties which was created by ... their agreement." (Id., at p. 219.) The same principle governs Vianna's case because all of his claims against Doctors are rooted in the employment relationship created by their contract. Merrick applied federal law and the federal policy favoring settlement of labor-management disputes by arbitration. (Id., at p. 218.) However, California's equally strong policy favoring arbitration (Moncharsh v. Heily & Blase, supra, 3 Cal.4th at p. 9) dictates the same result here.
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The order denying the petition to compel arbitration is reversed, and the case is remanded with instructions to enter an order directing Vianna and Doctors to proceed to arbitration. Costs to Doctors.
Anderson, P.J., and Poche, J., concurred.