California Labor &
Employment Law Blog

Update on Class Waiver Cases Pending before Supreme Court
Aug. 10 2017

Update on Class Waiver Cases Pending before Supreme Court

Topics: Arbitration Agreements, Class Actions, Court Decisions

As we have discussed on this blog in recent months, the United States Supreme Court will be deciding an important issue affecting the enforceability of arbitration agreements between employers and employees, namely whether a provision in such an agreement that prohibits class claims is an unenforceable violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  The Supreme Court granted review in three consolidated cases presenting this issue in January 2017 (Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris; Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis; NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA).  Those cases have now been set for oral argument on October 2, 2017.  This means that a decision likely will be issued by late this year or very early in 2018.   Stay tuned for this important development.  In the meantime, enforceability of a class waiver provision in an arbitration agreement will continue to vary depending on the forum. California state courts enforce these provisions, but federal courts in California do not because they are bound by Ninth Circuit precedent in Morris v. Ernst & Young, holding that class waiver provisions violate employees' rights under the NLRA to engage in concerted activity for mutual aid and protection.  Some courts with pending motions on this issue are staying resolution of the motions pending the Supreme Court's decision.

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For over 20 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent has a regular presence in California state and federal courts and has been lead defense counsel and appellate counsel for large and small California employers in litigation (and arbitration) ranging from individual discrimination and harassment claims to complex wage and hour representative and class actions. She also leads the firm’s appellate practice, having substantial experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal court on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
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