Seyfarth Synopsis. As of January 1, 2020, AB 51 makes it unlawful for employers to impose arbitration agreements on employees as a condition of employment, even if employees are permitted to opt out. But will AB 51 withstand a legal challenge saying that AB 51 is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act? While courts ponder that question, California employers must
Continue Reading AB 51 Challenge: How Should California Employers Ring In The New Year?

Seyfarth Synopsis. On Thursday, September 5, 2019, the Legislature passed AB 51. This bill would ban mandatory arbitration agreements with respect to claims under the Labor Code and the Fair Employment and Housing Act while simultaneously disclaiming any intent to invalidate any agreement protected by the Federal Arbitration Act. Is this bill California’s latest clever—but predictably unsuccessful—effort to discriminate against
Continue Reading Zombie Apocalypse? Another (Unconstitutional?) California Assault on Arbitration

Seyfarth Synopsis: The California Legislature has passed a series of bills for Governor Newsom to consider. He now has until October 13 to approve or veto bills such as a Dynamex codification bill and a San Francisco-inspired lactation accommodation bill.

Friday, September 13th marked the Legislature’s last day to pass bills to Governor Newsom’s desk for approval in the first
Continue Reading California Employment Legislative Update: Governor Newsom Gets to Work

Seyfarth Synopsis: Everything was smooth sailing with your latest greatest arbitration agreement, but then an employee refused to get on board. What do you do now? Keep reading for a primer on navigating some murky waters.

Even in a post-Epic Systems world, where more and more employers are rolling out mandatory arbitration agreements with class-action waivers, California has
Continue Reading Employees Who Won’t Get On Board With Arbitration—Can Employers Rock The Boat?

Seyfarth Synopsis: In vetoing the California Legislature’s attempt to criminalize arbitration agreements (AB 3080), Governor Brown displayed common sense and the legal learning provided by recent U.S. Supreme Court authority.

Haven’t high courts already upheld mandatory arbitration agreements?

Yes, they have. The California and U.S. Supreme Courts have repeatedly ruled that employers may require employees to enter valid arbitration agreements
Continue Reading Governor Brown Vetoes Legislative Attempt to Criminalize Mandatory Arbitration

Seyfarth Synopsis. Pending California legislation would make a mandatory arbitration agreement an unlawful practice under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, and a crime. How could that be consistent with the Federal Arbitration Act?

Under current law, California businesses can insist that employees and contractors enter valid agreements to resolve disputes in front of a neutral arbitrator instead of a
Continue Reading Is California’s Latest Assault on Arbitration Constitutional?

Seyfarth Synopsis: Dominating this spring’s planting of proposed employment-related legislation are bills aimed at ending sexual harassment and promoting gender equity. Among the secondary crops are bills regarding accommodation, leave, criminal history, and wage and hour law. It threatens to be another bitter fall harvest for California’s employer community.

California legislators stormed into the second half of the 2017-18 legislative
Continue Reading 2018 California Legislative Update: It’s Spring! What Bills Have Sprung?

Recently, one of our colleagues, Jim Harris, attended the oral argument in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation of Los Angeles, LLC.  The California Supreme Court’s decision, expected by July 3, 2014, will have significant consequences for employers who use or are contemplating using mandatory arbitration agreements with class action waivers.   The result could be that the Gentry case is
Continue Reading Let’s Play Two: California Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument in Two Important Class Action Cases

By Brian Long

The California Supreme Court rarely puts employers in the holiday spirit. But this year, amidst all the lumps of coal that employers could find in the Christmas stocking, there was one treat: Harris v. City of Santa Monica (2013) 56 Cal.4th 203.

In Harris, a unanimous high court held that a “same decision” defense applies to employment
Continue Reading Year-End Round-Up of Employment Cases Pending Before the Cal Supremes

By Christopher Crosman

Navigating the shoals of California law on arbitration agreements has been exceedingly difficult.  The California Supreme Court has maintained a long tradition of general antipathy to mandatory arbitration, and has been particularly hostile to arbitration agreements that limit a plaintiff’s ability to pursue a class action.  For example, Discover Bank v. Superior Court, 36 Cal. 4th
Continue Reading California Law On Class Action Waivers In Arbitration Agreements: As Clear As Mud