California Ninth Circuit Panel Withdraws Prior Ruling on Anti-Arbitration Law (AB 51) Following Supreme Court Ruling
On Monday, the Ninth Circuit panel that upheld AB 51 - California’s law banning mandatory arbitration agreements as a condition of employment - withdrew their prior opinion based on the Supreme Court’s decision in the Viking River Cruise case. The Viking River Cruise case decision upheld mandatory arbitration in the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) context.
California’s AB 51 would allow individuals to sue a former employer as an agent of the state under PAGA. A coalition of business groups, including HCAOA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the California Association for Health Services at Home, the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Retailers Association, filed a lawsuit in December 2021 to block AB 51. The lawsuit contends that AB 51 is contrary to a history of Supreme Court decisions declaring that states may not interfere with the arbitration process.
The Ninth Circuit panel has not issued a new decision yet, so HCAOA continues to follow the process and advocate for our members.