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California Employment Law Blog

Category Archives: Arbitration Agreements

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Employers Should Now Run—Not Walk—Toward Adopting Arbitration Agreements in California

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Class Actions, NLRA, PAGA

Yesterday, the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC, upholding class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements. This means that the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2011 opinion in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion is to be given full force and effect in the employment setting in California. That… Continue Reading

NLRB Takes D.R. Horton One Step Further While the Ninth Circuit Upholds Its Contrary Decision

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, NLRA

On January 17, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board Judge Lisa D. Thompson concluded that an agreement that did not prohibit class or collective action still violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act because the Agreement “interfere[d], restrain[ed], or coerce[d]” plaintiff and other similarly situated employees’ “substantive rights to file classwide litigation.”  This… Continue Reading

D.R. Horton and the Arbitration Hotchpotch: Emerging “Rules” and the Future of Compelled Arbitration in California

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Class Actions, NLRA

Horton Hears an Employer Victory Last December, the Fifth Circuit issued its long-awaited decision in D.R. Horton, Inc. v. NLRB, holding that employers may require employees to sign arbitration agreements categorically waiving the right to pursue employment claims in a collective or class action. In doing so, the Fifth Circuit’s rejected the NLRB’s opinion that… Continue Reading

Court Holds Arbitration Agreement Requiring Employee to Pay Half of Arbitration Costs is Unconscionable

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, FAA

In Chavarria v. Ralphs Grocery Co., No. 11-56673, 2013 WL 5779332 (9th Cir. Oct. 28, 2013), the plaintiff, a former deli clerk, brought a class action against Ralphs for various alleged wage and hour violations of the California Labor Code.  As a condition of employment, Chavarria signed an arbitration agreement containing a class action waiver. … Continue Reading

Right To Compel Arbitration Agreement Not Waived If Plaintiff Suffered No Prejudice From Delay

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, FAA

In a post last week, we noted a recent trend of federal courts strongly enforcing employment arbitration agreements under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”). That trend continues in Richards v. Ernst & Young, LLP, Case No. 11-17530 (9th Cir. Aug. 21, 2013), which holds that a defendant’s pretrial participation in litigation does not, absent prejudice… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Reaffirms Enforceability of Arbitration Agreements Containing Collective Action Waivers In Two FLSA Cases

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Class Actions, Employment Contracts, FAA, FLSA, Wage and Hour

Two recent decisions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit have reaffirmed the enforceability of employment-related arbitration agreements containing class action waivers. In Sutherland v. Ernst & Young and Raniere v. Citigroup, Inc. the Second Circuit held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) requires courts to enforce a valid agreement to arbitrate… Continue Reading

Arbitration Clauses Are Enforceable Despite Waiver Of Classwide Arbitration Rights

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Class Actions

Flores v. West Covina Auto Group, 2013 WL 139200 (Cal. App. Jan. 11, 2013) Israel Flores and Andrea Naasz sued West Covina Toyota (WCT) and Toyota Motor Sales for selling them a “lemon,” alleging both individual and class action claims, including claims for violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA).  WCT filed a motion… Continue Reading

California Court Upholds Arbitration Agreement

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Employment Contracts

Baltazar v. Forever 21, Inc., 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 1292 (Dec. 20, 2012) Maribel Baltazar sued her former employer, Forever 21, Inc., alleging she was constructively discharged and subjected to discrimination and harassment based on her race and sex.  In response, Forever 21 filed a motion to compel arbitration pursuant to an arbitration agreement between… Continue Reading

California Court Criticizes Prior Case Law Invalidating Class Action Waivers, Then Punts To State Supreme Court

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Class Actions, FAA

Truly Nolen of America v. Superior Court, 2012 WL 3222211 (Aug. 13, 2012) California law involving classwide wage-and-hour arbitration continues to evolve in the aftermath of the United States Supreme Court’s landmark decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011), which generally prohibits states from requiring additional due process guarantees (not… Continue Reading

Nelsen v. Legacy Partners Residential, Inc. – Court of Appeal Not Persuaded by D.R. Horton – Arbitration Agreements Precluding Class Arbitration O.K.

Posted in Arbitration Agreements

Breaking with the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling that arbitration agreements containing class waivers can violate federal labor law, the California Court of Appeal recently held that an arbitration agreement precluding class arbitration was not unconscionable, nor would enforcing it violate California state law, federal law or public policy.

California Court Approves Class Action Waivers In Employment Arbitration Agreements

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Class Actions, FAA, Wage and Hour

The plaintiff in Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC, brought a putative class action and a representative action under California’s Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) for various wage and hour violations. During his employment, Iskanian agreed that he would not assert class action or representative action claims against his employer and, instead, agreed to submit… Continue Reading

California Court Holds that Representative PAGA Claims Are Not Subject to Mandatory Arbitration

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Wage and Hour

In a 2-1 decision, the California Court of Appeal held that representative actions under California’s Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) may not be waived in mandatory, pre-dispute employment arbitration agreements. (Brown v. Ralphs Grocery Co., Cal. Ct. App., No. B222689 [pdf]). This decision comes as something of a surprise in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent… Continue Reading

State Limitations On Arbitration Agreements Are Preempted By Federal Law

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Class Actions, Employment Law Notes, FAA, Supreme Court

AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011) In this landmark new opinion, the United States Supreme Court held that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) prohibits states from conditioning the enforceability of an arbitration agreement on the availability of class action arbitration procedures. Although this case arose in the consumer context (it involved AT&T’s… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Tips the Scales Back Toward Arbitration

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Class Actions, FAA, Supreme Court

In a ruling that has garnered significant interest among employers, the U.S. Supreme Court held on Wednesday that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts the California Supreme Court’s efforts to impose heightened unconscionability standards on class action waivers in consumer arbitration agreements. This decision may also sound the death knell for similar restrictions imposed by California… Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Expands Judicial Review of Employment Arbitration Awards

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Client Alerts

A recent decision by the California Supreme Court could have resounding implications for the enforceability of arbitration awards – a matter of great concern in employment law given the prevalence of arbitration agreements governing employment relationships – and opens the door for employees to petition the courts to compel arbitrators to decide the merits of their statutory claims.

Unionized Employees Were Required To Arbitrate Age Discrimination Claims

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Collective Bargaining, Discrimination, Employment Law Notes, Union Issues

14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett, 556 U.S. 247, 129 S. Ct. 1456 (2009) Plaintiffs, members of the Service Employees International Union (the “SEIU”), filed a complaint with the EEOC alleging age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and, after receiving their right-to-sue letters, filed suit against their employer alleging age discrimination. In… Continue Reading

Supreme Court Endorses Union-Negotiated Arbitration of Discrimination Claims

Posted in Arbitration Agreements, Client Alerts, Collective Bargaining, Discrimination, NLRA, Supreme Court, Union Issues

Proskauer Prevails As The Court Holds That Collectively Bargained Agreements for The Arbitration of Statutory Discrimination Claims are Enforceable On April 1, 2009, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled in favor of Proskauer Rose’s client 14 Penn Plaza LLC, holding that a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) that clearly and unmistakably requires… Continue Reading