Last week, a U.S. appeals court blocked a California law that prohibited employers from requiring their workers to resolve legal disputes in private arbitration, ruling that it conflicts with a federal arbitration statute. Signed into law in late 2019, the law, known as AB51, made it a criminal offense for employers to force employees to sign such arbitration agreements for claims they might make under state labor laws.
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 AB51.
The state of California could attempt to revive AB51 by asking the full Ninth Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision. The California Attorney General’s Office said in a statement that it’s “reviewing the decision and assessing next steps.”
HCAOA will keep members in California updated on this case.