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

In a recent case, the California Court of Appeal held, employees could not be compelled to arbitrate their claim under California’s Private Attorney General Act without the government’s consent, despite signing an arbitration agreement. Correia v. NB Baker Electric.

There, plaintiffs Mark Correia and Richard Stow sued their former employer, NB Baker, alleging wage-and-hour violations

An employer successfully compelled arbitration under an arbitration agreement that the plaintiff-workers had with their staffing agency, even though the staffing agency was not a defendant in the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs sued the primary employer, but not the staffing agency with whom they had entered into an arbitration agreement. On January 3, 2019, a California

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling that class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) does not extend to claims under the California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, No. 16-285; Ernst & Young LLP et al. v. Morris et al., No. 16-300; National

In Saheli v. White Memorial Medical Center (B283217, Cal. Ct. App., March 14, 2018), the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District addressed for the first time whether restrictions on arbitration agreements contained in the Ralph Act and Bane Act are preempted under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).

“The Ralph Act broadly provides

In a loss for the California transportation industry, the Court of Appeal for California’s Fourth Judicial District recently found in Muro v. Cornerstone Staffing Solutions, Inc., that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) is unenforceable in employment contracts regarding employees who are engaged in transporting goods in interstate or foreign commerce, regardless of whether the

In Lawson v. ZB, N.A. (2018) 18 Cal.App.5th 705, California’s Fourth District Court of Appeal recently ruled that the two elements comprising damages under Labor Code § 558 – (a) underpaid wages and (b) denominated assessments – are indivisible. Because a claim under Labor Code § 558 is indivisible and it is a civil penalty

Denying an employer’s motion to compel individual arbitration of a wage and hour class action, a California federal court ruled that the employer’s dispute resolution program violated its employees’ right to engage in concerted action under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”). Totten v. Kellogg Brown & Root, LLC. Notably, this ruling departs from the established trend of federal courts declining to follow the precedent set in In re D.R. Horton, Inc. (“Horton I”) and has significant implications for employers contemplating whether to remove a class action involving the enforcement of arbitration agreements to federal court.

Kellogg Brown & Root LLC’s (“KBR”) hired David Totten (“Totten”) in 2012. During his new hire orientation, Totten signed an agreement to participate in KBR’s Dispute Resolution Program (“DRP”) as a condition of his employment. The DRP required employees to arbitrate any claims against KBR that related to, or arose out of, their employment. The DRP also prohibited “KBR, employees and applicants from pursuing claims on a class, collective, or representative basis…” KBR terminated Totten’s employment in June 2014. Approximately one month later, Totten filed a class action against KBR for alleged wage and hour violations and unfair business practices.
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