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Arbitration

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A collective bargaining agreement will not be interpreted to require arbitration of statutory wage and hour claims unless the agreement clearly and unmistakably requires arbitration of those claims.  Here, the CBA did not meet that standard.  It required arbitration of only those issues that the union and employer later agreed to arbitrate.  Also, litigation of the statutory wage and hour… Read More

Following SEIU Local 121RN v. Los Robles Regional Medical Center (9th Cir. 2020) 976 F.3d 849, this decision holds that, at least with respect to delegation of arbitrability questions to the arbitrator, arbitration clauses in collective bargaining agreements are to be interpreted just like arbitration clauses in other types of contracts.  Arbitrability questions are determined by the court unless the… Read More

In a proceeding under 9 USC 7 to enforce a subpoena that an arbitrator has issued to a non-party witness, when no federal claim is at stake, a federal court has jurisdiction over the matter only if the requirements for diversity jurisdiction (including the amount in controversy requirement) are satisfied.  The amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, if the value of… Read More

Following Nieto v. Fresno Beverage Co., Inc. (2019) 33 Cal.App.5th 274, this decision holds that workers for a company 90% of whose business was providing "last mile" transportation of goods from Amazon warehouses to Amazon customers were employees in interstate commerce and thus exempt from the FAA.  Though the workers themselves did not cross state lines, they represented the final… Read More

In this PAGA suit, the trial court erred in ordering to arbitration the preliminary/gateway issue of whether the plaintiffs were employees of the defendant rather than independent contractors.  The state is the real party in interest in a PAGA suit and cannot be forced to arbitrate any portion of its claim--including whether the individual plaintiff is an employee with standing… Read More

An arbitration clause that stated both parties waived the right to bring a class action, act as a private attorney general or join claims of other persons in arbitration or in court did not offend McGill.  At least given the 9th Circuit's view that the FAA preempts Broughton and Cruz, the arbitrator could award public injunctive relief since McGill makes… Read More

Under CCP 1281.91(b), a party has an absolute right to disqualify a neutral arbitrator (once) without cause if done within 15 days of the arbitrator's providing the parties the disclosures required by CCP 1281.9.  This decision holds that the right to peremptorily disqualify a neutral arbitrator under section 1281.91 is not waivable in advance so that defendant could disqualify the… Read More

The Motor Vehicle Franchise Contract Arbitration Fairness Act (15 USC 1226) creates a narrow exception to the Federal Arbitration Act, banning arbitration (without both parties' post-dispute consent) of claims arising from a motor vehicle franchise contract, which it defines to mean a contract under which the franchisee both sells and services motor vehicles.  Vehicle Code 11713.,3(g) contains the same terms… Read More

Following Mejia v. DACM, Inc. (2020) 54 Cal.App.5th 691, this decision affirms an order denying a motion to compel arbitration.  As in Mejia, this decision distinguishes Clifford v. Quest Software Inc. (2019) 38 Cal.App.5th 745, saying it involved only the defendant's employees, not the broader public which this suit sought to benefit by an injunction against defendant's allegedly unfair practices… Read More

Reversing an order denying arbitration, this decision holds that the arbitration clause had only a minimal degree of procedural unconscionability due to the employer's greater economic power and only one clause that was substantively unconscionable but severable.  The employer was not required to give plaintiff a Spanish translation since plaintiff did not show she lacked English language skills, just that… Read More

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