In a recent case, Correia v. NB Baker Electric, Inc., the California Court of Appeal held that employers cannot require employees to arbitrate their representative claims under the California Private Attorney General Act of 2004 (“PAGA”), Labor Code § 2699 et seq., without the State’s consent.
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Date: Thursday, November 16, 2017
Time: 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM PST

Please join Hunton & Williams LLP for a complimentary webinar that will address current concerns faced by employers in California. This program, co-sponsored by Welch Consulting, will examine the following issues:

  • Fair Pay issues
  • Recent PAGA concerns
  • “Ban the Box” and

The Ninth Circuit ruled on Monday, September 28, that California Private Attorney General Act claims cannot be waived in employment arbitration agreements, following the rule announced by the California Supreme Court in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, 59 Cal. 4th 348 (2014).
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A California appellate court recently invalidated an arbitration agreement that an employee had voluntarily entered into on the basis that it contained an unenforceable waiver of the employee’s claims under the California Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) and, under the parties’ agreement, that provision could not be severed.
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On June 23, 2014, the California Supreme Court announced a landmark ruling that arbitration agreements with mandatory class waivers are generally enforceable while carving out one notable exception.  That exception consists of representative claims brought under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) which is unique to California.


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Following the Supreme Court’s game-changing decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541, 2551 (2011), courts have struggled to determine the level and nature of proof a class plaintiff must present at the class certification stage. This is especially so when it comes to the requirements related to commonality: that there be questions of law or fact common to the class and that the common questions predominate over any questions affecting only individual class members. Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(2), (b)(3). Recently, Chief District Judge George King of the Central District of California refused to certify a wage-and-hour class on the ground that plaintiff was unable to establish commonality. See Pedroza v. PetSmart, Inc., No. ED CV 11-298-GHK (DTBx) (C.D. Cal. Jan. 28. 2013) (minute order).  This detailed order offers many great lessons for wage-and-hour actions brought on a class basis.


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On June 4, 2012, the California Court of Appeal held that class-action waivers in employment arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).  In Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles LLC, the appeal court affirmed an order to compel arbitration of wage-and-hour claims in light of the 2011 United States Supreme Court case AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion.  As a result, Iskanian provides employers with the necessary ammunition to argue for the enforceability of employment contract provisions providing for arbitration of claims and waiver of class-action lawsuits.


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