Unpublished California Opinion Did Not Authorize Arbitration Over Threshold Issue of Independent Contractor or Employee in a PAGA Claim
A former driver for UberEats alleged that Uber misclassified drivers as independent contractors as part of a PAGA action. Uber sought an order to compel arbitration of the question of whether the plaintiff was an independent contractor or employee under their arbitration agreement.
The unpublished opinion acknowledged the proverbial elephant in the room, that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Viking River Cruises Inc. v. Angie Moriana will impact whether or not PAGA claims might become subject to arbitration agreements under the FAA, but insisting that “[u]nless and until the United States Supreme Court or the California Supreme Court directly overrules [Iskanian], the courts of this state must follow the rules of Iskanian.”
The opinion is “not to be published” and practitioners should be cautioned against citing to this case as precedent. Employers should continue to monitor SCOTUS for the Viking River Cruises Inc. decision. The area of arbitration agreements in the employment sector continues to change rapidly, so contact your favorite CDF attorney if you have questions or to review and revise any arbitration agreements that you are using or might wish to use.