On October 10, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law a state statute purporting to prohibit employers from requiring employees to enter into certain types of arbitration agreements. This new law is creating significant uncertainty and anxiety among employers. What is the practical impact of AB 51 in light of its possible preemption by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and other potential challenges to its limits on arbitration?
California is set to become the only state to outlaw predispute mandatory arbitration of statutory employment claims. On October 10, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed California Assembly Bill (AB) 51, which prohibits employers from requiring employees to arbitrate claims arising under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and related employment statutes.
In February 2019, the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One ruled that the Arizona State Legislature overstepped its authority in 2016, when it prohibited Arizona cities and other municipalities from enacting their own employee benefits ordinances. On August 27, 2019, the Arizona Supreme Court denied review of the Court of Appeals decision.
On August 14, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a ruling clarifying several mandatory arbitration issues following the 2018 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis.
In Dorman v. Charles Schwab Corp., No. 18-15281 (August 20, 2019), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a 401(k) plan participant was required to individually arbitrate his claims regarding the plan’s fees and investment options, pursuant to the plan’s arbitration provision.
In 20/20 Communications, Inc. v. Crawford, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently ruled that the question of whether a dispute can be arbitrated on a class-wide basis is a threshold issue that is presumptively for a court, not an arbitrator, to decide. This is the latest in a series of decisions by the Supreme Court of the United States and courts of appeals in favor of arbitration agreements that waive class procedures.
Like many other states, Washington recently adopted legislation seemingly preventing the arbitration of harassment and discrimination claims in direct response to the #MeToo movement.
In response to the #MeToo movement, a number of states have adopted legislation addressing sexual harassment claims. These include Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Washington. Some of these state statutes attempt to ban or restrict arbitration for sexual harassment claims.
On March 18, 2019, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law Senate Bill 121 (S121), which amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD) in two important respects, effective immediately.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court recently issued an opinion with major implications in In re: JPMorgan Chase & Company that impacts collective actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
In an unpublished decision, the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District denied an employer’s motion to compel arbitration of a former employee’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims.
On January 15, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) did not apply to wage claims brought by an interstate truck driver, even though the plaintiff was classified as an independent contractor.
On January 8, 2019, the Supreme Court of the United States decided whether courts may disregard contractual language calling for an arbitrator to decide questions of arbitrability if the argument that the arbitration agreement applies to the particular dispute is “wholly groundless.” The Court ruled that a “wholly groundless” exception is inconsistent with the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), and courts are not free to override the terms of parties’ agreements to arbitrate.
It’s time for our annual holiday season blog on the status of arbitration agreement enforceability in Missouri.
In a matter of first impression before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals involving an issue left open by the Supreme Court of the United States, a Seventh Circuit panel issued an opinion on a key threshold question of class arbitrability. The question was who decides—a court or an arbitrator—whether arbitration can proceed on a class or collective basis.
The oral arguments on October 3, 2018, before the Supreme Court of the United States in New Prime, Inc. v. Oliveira have created waves of uncertainty in the transportation industry about the enforceability of arbitration agreements.
In a surprise decision, the Supreme Court of Kentucky ruled on September 27, 2018, that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) does not protect employment arbitration agreements that are required as a condition of employment.
On June 12, 2018, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee issued an executive order that directs Washington agencies to favor government contractors that do not require employees to submit to individual arbitration of claims.
In Whyte v. Bockino, No. 2017-0024 (August 29, 2018), the Supreme Court of the United States Virgin Islands held that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) applies to contracts in the Virgin Islands and concluded that the claims of a former employee were arbitrable.
On July 24, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Munro v. University of Southern California, No. 17-55550, that an employer/fiduciary of a 401(k) plan cannot force a fiduciary breach claim under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) section 502(a)(2) into arbitration.
In Epic Systems Corporation v. Lewis, the Supreme Court of the United States held that class action waiver in an employment arbitration agreement are enforceable. Yet, arbitration agreements containing such waivers may still be challenged on a variety of grounds. The law in this area is often unsettled or unclear and changes frequently. The following checklist identifies key issues employers may want to consider when adopting a class action waiver in an employment arbitration agreement.
In reaction to a litany of high-profile scandals, Maryland has joined a growing number of states in enacting legislation intended to prevent employers from sheltering perpetrators of sexual harassment.
The decision this week of the Supreme Court of the United States in Epic Systems Corporation v. Lewis will likely prove important on issues other than the arbitration of labor disputes.
On May 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States settled the contentious class action waiver issue that has riled courts for the past six years. In a 5-4 opinion, the Court upheld class action waivers in arbitration agreements.
Can two judges on the same court reach contradictory conclusions about the enforceability of the same arbitration agreement presented to two employees in the same manner?
On March 23, 2018, the last day before a potential government shutdown, Congress passed and the president is expected to sign a massive $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government through fiscal year (FY) 2018.
As the new year quickly approaches, it is a good time to review your company’s handbook and policies. One important issue to look for is whether your arbitration agreement is part of the handbook.
Arbitration agreements have faced tackles and turbulence in a series of cases litigated in Missouri courts over the past few years. In the fall of 2017, the Supreme Court of Missouri issued two favorable arbitration agreement decisions: one involved an aviation school, the other arose from a training facility lease with the Rams football team, which has since left Missouri for California and was previously involved in a different arbitration-related case in Missouri.
On November 22, 2017, the Ontario government passed the much anticipated Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, which will result in significant changes to Ontario’s labour and employment landscape. The Act received Royal Assent on November 27, 2017.
On October 2, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral argument in three consolidated cases that will decide the future of class action waivers in the employment context.