As we reported previously, the California legislature recently passed and Gov. Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 51, which would impose criminal penalties upon employers seeking to have their employees sign arbitration agreements – it is in short the “Request Arbitration, Go to Jail” law. Today, United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller granted a temporary restraining order, enjoining the state from enforcing AB 51 until a further evidentiary hearing can take place on January 10, 2020. As predicted by most observers, the Court found that there were “serious questions regarding whether the challenged statute is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act.”
On January 10, the Court will hear the pending motion for a preliminary injunction, which if granted, would invalidate AB 51 for the foreseeable future. We will update you on further developments after that hearing.