Previously, we informed you about the impact of the United States Supreme Court case of Viking River v. Moriana on employees who are subject to arbitration agreements. The Viking River ruling allowed employers to avoid some claims under the California Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) by forcing employees to agree to private arbitration agreements. (To read about Viking River v. Moriana, click here.)
Since then, the California Supreme Court has taken up the case of Adolph v. Uber Technologies, Inc. In Adolph, the employee plaintiff asked the court to decide whether an employee whose individual claims are ordered to arbitration loses the ability to continue the PAGA case regarding other employees who have been subject to the same illegal practices by the employer. Adolph is crucial to employees because the California Supreme Court may reverse the rule allowing employers to use private arbitration agreements to block PAGA claims. This would allow employees who are subject to arbitration agreements to hold employers accountable for violations that affect groups of employees. The California Supreme Court will likely issue its decision in the next few months. We will keep you updated.
In the meantime, employees should opt out of arbitration agreements to ensure that they have the power to exercise all of their rights. Whether it is a part of an employment contract, a stand-alone form, or a section of the terms and conditions on a gig economy platform, please read the fine print carefully and follow the instructions to opt out of arbitration.
If you need assistance opting out or have any employment-related questions, please call us at (626) 240-0575.