From the Daily Labor Report (BNA):

“Under directions from the California Supreme Court, the California Court of Appeal Feb. 26 held that class action and arbitration waivers in an agreement between a trash removal company and an employee are enforceable as to the worker’s individual wage and hour claims under state law (Franco v. Arakelian Enters, Inc., Cal. Ct. App., No. B232583, 2/26/15). In June 2014, the California high court ruled in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles LLC, 2014 BL 174476 (Cal. 2014), that recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent abrogated California case law that had provided that arbitration agreements containing class action waivers limiting employees’ ability to pursue statutory protections are unenforceable (120 DLR AA-1, 6/23/14). The court in Iskanian found that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state law rules against such waivers if they interfere with fundamental attributes of arbitration. Bound by Iskanian, the California Court of Appeal vacated, reversed and remanded its November 2012 ruling in Franco v. Arakelian Enterprises Inc., in which it had affirmed the denial of Arakelian’s motion to compel arbitration of employee Edixon Franco’s class action overtime and meal and rest period claims under the California Labor Code (228 DLR A-2, 11/27/12). The appeals court said the arbitration agreement between Franco and Arakelian is “enforceable unless it is found to be unconscionable on grounds that exist ‘for the revocation of any contract,’ within the meaning of the FAA.” However, also following Iskanian, the court found unenforceable the agreement’s waiver of Franco’s claim under California’s Private Attorneys General Act, which is not subject to arbitration.”

Sarah Cole is a professor as well as the director of the Program on Dispute Resolution at Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She has focused her research on the legal issues and policy that have arisen as a result of the increased use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). She frequently publishes articles on dispute resolution topics and is a contributor to ADR Prof Blog.