The California Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited decision in the case of Gentry v. Superior Court, deciding whether class-action waivers in employment arbitration agreements are legally binding.
In a case of good news/bad news for employers, the court didn’t say that all arbitration agreements, or even all class-action waivers, were invalid—just the poorly drafted ones.
In a sharply divided opinion, four justices reversed the Court of Appeal’s decision upholding a class-action waiver. The majority held that “at least in some cases, the prohibition of class-wide relief would undermine the vindication of the employees’ unwaivable statutory rights and would pose a serious obstacle to the enforcement of the state’s.”
In other words, the waivers may interfere with enforcing California wage laws. Because that may be the case, the court crafted a method for trial judges to decide whether that’s the case in...(register to read more)