Therefore, the most effective opposition to an employer`s request to impose arbitration is to prove that the claimant never agreed to commence arbitration. “If an employee doesn`t know the contractual clauses, there is no meeting between minds, no reciprocity, no fundamental fairness.” (Metters v. Ralphs Grocery Co. (2008) 161 Cal.App.4th 696.) In dismissing a request for arbitration in Metters, the Court of Appeal strongly expressed its disapproval of any deliberate cover-up in the drafting of so-called arbitration agreements. (Id. at 702.) There are several reasons to believe that AB 51 will be removed before it is ever applied. A few years ago, a state appeals court blocked a similar bill for pre-emptive reasons. Assembly Bill 2617, which would have prohibited the mandatory reconciliation of certain civil rights claims in contracts for goods or services, was killed by a 2018 Court of Appeal decision. In Saheli Medical Center v. White Memorial, the court ruled that AB 2617 was anticipated by the FAA because its “restrictions discourage arbitration by invalidating valid arbitration agreements. It is precisely this kind of hostility to arbitration that the FAA prohibits. While AB 51 appears to apply only to mandatory arbitration clauses, the language in the bill also prohibits employers from using voluntary opt-out clauses to avoid the scope of the law. New Labor Code Section 432.6(c) states that “an agreement requiring an employee to unsubscribe from a waiver or to take positive steps to preserve his or her rights is considered a condition of employment.” Finally, if an agreement lacks reciprocity, its “unscrupulous defect” cannot be eliminated by farce or limitation of “a single provision”.
Mr. Armendariz demands that, if the employment is subject to compulsory arbitration, the employer cannot impose on the worker a fee (or fee) that he would not normally have to pay if the case were tried by a court. (Armendariz, above, 24 Cal.4th at 110-111; Little, supra, 29 Cal.4th at 1076.) An example of potentially unscrupulous costs is that the agreement states that the rules of the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”) apply to your client`s arbitration. The applicable AAA cost system depends on whether a dispute results from an employment plan or contract “individually negotiated” by the employer. In the event of a dispute arising from a plan announced by the employer, the employer bears the bulk of the costs. Recently, the California Supreme Court considered the same subject in Armendariz v. Foundation Health Psychcare Services Inc. (August 24, 2000) 00 C.D.O.S.
7127. In Armendariz, two staff members filed a complaint of unlawful dismissal, including complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination and breach of contract. The two staff members completed application forms containing an arbitration clause and then entered into a separate employment agreement. .