California Sup. Ct. Strikes Arbitration Clauses that Threaten Employee Rights
Covered in the LA Times, the California Supreme Court ruled last week that workers may bring class-action lawsuits for labor code violations even if they signed arbitration agreements with their employers. The article expresses hope that this recognition of the importance of workers' rights will become the norm in other states as well, as California is often a trend-setter in labor law. Amen to that! It also anticipates that this ruling will open access to the court to employees whose pay has been withheld, who've been discriminated against, or who've been sexually harassed.
Two notable quotables about the case:
Arthur Bryant, executive director of Public Justice in DC, said: "Corporations are trying to wipe out their employees' ability to hold them accountable" by putting an end to class actions in wages-and-hours, employment discrimination and sexual harassment cases. He said that this ruling "essentially preserves employment class actions in California."
Michael Rubin, A SF attorney who represented an aggrieved employee in the case, said: "Today's decision prevents employers from continuing this divide-and-conquer approach and reinstitutes the worker's rights to join with their fellow workers to sue for common violations of statutory rights."
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