June 30, 2022

Volume XII, Number 181

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Does the Federal Arbitration Act Preempt California’s Private Attorneys General Act? Supreme Court Takes Up Million-Dollar Question

On March 30, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States will hear the matter of Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, Case No. 20-1573. The Court will answer the question, “Whether the Federal Arbitration Act requires enforcement of a bilateral arbitration agreement providing that an employee cannot raise representative claims, including under PAGA.”

The high court’s decision in this case has potentially massive implications for employers. Simply, the Court may hold that mandatory employment arbitration agreements that include a representative action waiver, which effectively prohibit parties from bringing class, collective, or representative actions, may be enforced in cases involving California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). PAGA claims often originate from simple oversights such as a missing date on wage statements and can expose employers to millions of dollars in potential penalties. Viking River Cruises, combined with a properly prepared arbitration agreement, also has the potential to provide employers with relief and protection against PAGA claims.

The setting of oral argument for the end of March makes it extremely likely that a decision will be issued before the Court recesses in late June or early July.

© 2022, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 31
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About this Author

Jack S. Sholkoff, Ogletree Deakins, general counseling lawyer, conducting administrative hearings
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For more than twenty years, Jack S. Sholkoff has been working with employers to manage and resolve their employment law related matters. Mr. Sholkoff has handled all facets of employment law, providing general counseling as well as conducting administrative hearings, trials and appeals on behalf of employers.

Mr. Sholkoff represents both large and smaller employers in a variety of matters, including complicated contractual, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, wage and hour, employee leave cases, trade secret and employee mobility...

213-438-1281
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