The Law at Work: New law adds obstacle to arbitration agreements
The Economic Policy Institute estimates that about two-thirds of California employers require their employees to arbitrate employment-related disputes, giving up the right to submit those claims to a judge or jury. Under Assembly Bill 51, effective January 1, no California employer may condition “employment, continued employment, or the receipt of any employment-related benefit,” such as extra money, on an employee giving up their right to pursue a claim under the state’s employment discrimination law and certain other employment laws in court or any other forum. AB 51 essentially says that any agreement that conditions employment on agreeing to arbitrate employment-related disputes is unenforceable. In his The Law at Work column in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Shareholder Dan Eaton further explains the purpose of AB 51, what employers should start doing now to comply and why the law ultimately may be struck down.
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