California employers are not alone as they wrestle with AB 51’s January 1, 2020 new law on mandatory arbitration agreements. (For background on AB 51 see our article). On December 6, 2019, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business organizations filed suit against the State of California to have AB 51 declared preempted

California has joined a number of states in passing legislation purporting to prohibit mandatory arbitration agreements for sexual harassment and other claims. Such laws have gained popularity in the wake of the #MeToo movement, but are subject to challenge under Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preemption principles.

Under Assembly Bill 51, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom