arbitration agreements

By:  Kritika Thukral

Background

Mandatory arbitration agreements are a source of contention in employment law. However, since 2000, they are generally permissible in California. In response, the California Legislature has made repeated efforts to ban such agreements over the years. In the past, many such bills have passed both the state assembly and the state senate and have ended up on the Governor’s desk. However, none of the bills have been enacted into law. Nevertheless, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez from San Diego has introduced Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51) in the current legislative session. This bill is nearly identical to the previous vetoed measures to make mandatory arbitration agreements illegal.
Continue Reading AB 51: Another Attempt to Take Down Mandatory Arbitration Agreements in California

On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis.  In a 5-4 decision written by the newest jurist, Justice Gorsuch, the Court declares that employers can require employees to arbitrate their employment disputes individually and waive their rights to resolve those disputes through class or collective actions.

Background.

The case was a consolidation of three cases (Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, and National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc.).  In each case, the employees brought a class action under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and related state law against their employer on behalf of themselves and similarly situated employees for wage and hour violations. However, in each of the cases, the employees had entered into an agreement with their employer providing for individualized arbitration proceedings to resolve employment disputes between the parties. Although the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) generally requires courts to enforce arbitration agreements as written, the employees argued that the FAA’s “savings clause” removes this obligation if an arbitration agreement violates some other federal law and that, by requiring individualized proceedings, the agreements they signed violated the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).
Continue Reading GOOD NEWS EMPLOYERS – The U.S. Supreme Court Says You Can Require Class Action Waivers In Your Arbitration Agreements

The United States Supreme Court decided last week to resolve a split in the lower courts as to whether the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”) preempts class-action waiver clauses in arbitration agreements between employers and their employees.  This is an important development, as the use of such waivers in arbitration agreements (if permissible) can drastically

Happy New Year!   The new year frequently marks new changes in the law, and this year is no exception.  There are several important changes that went into effect on January 1st.  Here are some of the major changes that went into effect on January 1, 2017:

  • Minimum Wage Change: On January 1

On August 31st, the California Legislature passed a new bill (AB 465) to ensure that waivers of employment rights and procedures, often through arbitration agreements, are made voluntarily and not as a condition of obtaining or keeping employment. As the Wall Street Journal recently reported, the number of companies using arbitration agreements in the workplace