The Los Angeles Superior Court has bestowed some remarkable gifts upon plaintiffs this holiday season. Two juries have issued gigantic verdicts in favor of individual plaintiffs in separate employment lawsuits within the past month.

On November 16, 2023, in Sosa v. Comerica Bank, a jury delivered a verdict of $14.17 million consisting of $1.17 million in lost earnings (past and future) and $13 million in emotional

When Congress passed and President Biden signed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act (“the Act”) last year, we predicted it was just the beginning of an all-out federal assault on arbitration. We weren’t wrong – so far, there are additional bills pending in Congress to exempt age and race discrimination and harassment claims from arbitration. See H.R.4120 – Protecting Older

We invite you to review our newly-posted July 2023 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include:

An astronomical $137 million jury verdict against Tesla has again been reduced, for a second (and potentially final) time. Last Monday, following a five-day trial on damages, a federal court jury awarded Owen Diaz, a former Tesla elevator operator, $175,000 in emotional distress damages and $3 million in punitive damages, totaling nearly $3.2 million—almost $134 million shy of the award he originally obtained in 2021.

We invite you to review our newly-posted March 2023 California Employment Law Notes, a comprehensive review of the latest and most significant developments in California employment law. The highlights include:

Armstrong v. Michaels Stores, Inc., 59 F.4th 1011 (9th Cir. 2023)

Teresa Armstrong executed an arbitration agreement with her employer Michaels Stores. After filing her claims in state court, Michaels answered, asserting its right to arbitration as an affirmative defense and removing the action to federal district court. The parties then submitted a joint case management statement that referenced as an issue in dispute

Rocha v. U-Haul Co. of Cal., 88 Cal. App. 5th 65 (2023)

Thomas and Jimmy Rocha alleged FEHA and Labor Code violations against their employer U-Haul. The brothers’ individual PAGA claims were compelled to arbitration where they subsequently lost on all causes of action. The Rochas then moved to vacate the arbitrator’s award, but the trial court confirmed the award and imposed sanctions. The

Chamber of Commerce v. Bonta, 2023 WL 2013326 (9th Cir. 2023)

A Ninth Circuit panel struck down California’s AB 51 (aka the Request Arbitration, Go to Jail Law). The law imposed civil and criminal penalties on employers that required employees to sign arbitration agreements. The same panel previously held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempted much of the law but declined to

Piplack v. In-N-Out Burgers, 2023 WL 2384502 (Cal. Ct. App. 2023)

In-N-Out Burgers appealed from the trial court’s denial of its motion to compel arbitration. The trial court denied the motion because In-N-Out’s arbitration agreement contained an unenforceable PAGA waiver. After the trial court’s ruling, the United States Supreme Court held in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, 142 S. Ct. 1906 (2022)

Yesterday, a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel revisited its own 2021 order and finally struck down California’s anti-mandatory employment arbitration law, Assembly Bill 51 (“AB 51”).  In an opinion drafted by the former dissenting judge, Judge Sandra Ikuta, the new majority declared AB 51 was preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).

The statute in question, signed into law by Governor Newsom in 2019, was California