The Ninth Circuit has issued its long-awaited ruling in Chamber of Commerce v. Bonta, perhaps putting a nail in the coffin of the controversial California law known as AB 51, which would have made it criminal conduct to require an applicant or employee to sign an arbitration agreement.
The history of AB 51 and the case challenging it is a tortuous one, to say the least, but the issue has always remained the same: was the California legislature too clever in its attempt to circumvent the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Epic Systems?
Silence can be telling.
That is especially so in the legal industry.
In the context of a hearing or oral argument, if judges or justices don’t ask an attorney a question, it can be incredibly encouraging – or incredibly discouraging. It often means that the judges or justices have already made up their minds after having read the parties’ briefs and simply don’t have any questions or don’t need to hear anything more.
Since the Supreme Court issued its seminal 2018 decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, acknowledging that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) permits the use of arbitration agreements with class action waivers, many employers have implemented arbitration programs for their employees. Those arbitration programs have been aimed, in no small part, at avoiding the class and collective actions that have overwhelmed employers, particularly in California.
In response, California passed AB 51, which prohibits imposing “as a condition of employment, continued employment, or the receipt of any employment-related benefit” the requirement that an individual “waive any right, forum or procedure” available under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) and Labor Code.
As we wrote here, United States District Court Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of the Eastern District of California wrote a brief “minute order” explaining that she was issuing a preliminary injunction to halt enforcement of California’s controversial anti-arbitration law, known as AB 51.
The new law, which was set to go into effect on January 1, 2020, would outlaw mandatory arbitration agreements with employees. AB 51 would also prohibit arbitration agreements that would require individuals to take affirmative action to be excluded from arbitration, such as opting out. ...
The California Legislature’s attempt to circumvent both the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) and the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Epic Systems by crafting a new law prohibiting California employers from requiring employees to enter into arbitration agreements is off to a rocky start in the courts, to say the least.
As discussed below, a federal court has issued a preliminary injunction enjoining enforcement of California’s controversial new anti-arbitration statute known as AB 51. Barring some new development, it now appears clear that the statute cannot be ...
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