Retail Labor and Employment Law

Retail Labor and Employment Law

News, Updates, and Insights for Retail Employers

Category Archives: Arbitration

Subscribe to Arbitration RSS Feed

Arbitration Clauses in Employment Handbooks With Contract Disclaimer Are Unenforceable

In a decision that will affect New Jersey employers seeking to arbitrate employees’ claims, the Appellate Division, earlier this month, in Morgan v. Amy E. HatcherRamours Furniture Company, Inc., held that arbitration clauses contained in employee handbooks are unenforceable where the handbook also includes a disclaimer that it does not create a contract.[1]  Accordingly, New Jersey employers whose handbooks currently include arbitration clauses should consider carefully, replacing them with either arbitration clauses in an employment application, and/or with a stand-alone agreement.

Given the potential for additional disputes, however, part of that process should include determining whether and how to implement … Continue Reading

Retailers Beware: The California Divide on PAGA Waivers May Impact the Road to Arbitration

By Amy Messigian

Yesterday, the California Court of Appeal ruled against The Wet Seal Retail, Inc. in its appeal of the denial of its motion to compel arbitration.  The trial court determined that the arbitration agreement at issue impermissibly waived representative actions under the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA).  Because the agreement also stated that it was not to be enforced if the waiver provision was found unconscionable, the court denied the motion to compel arbitration.  On appeal, the decision was affirmed.  This case highlights the current divide between state and federal courts in California on the enforcement of … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Opens the Door to Class Action Waivers, Shuts Door to Waiver of Representative Actions

By Marisa S. Ratinoff and Amy B. Messigian

One of the main battlegrounds between employers and employees relates to the ability of employers to preclude class actions by way of arbitration agreements containing class action waivers.  In California, the seminal case of Gentry v. Superior Court (“Gentry”) has had the practical effect of invalidating class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements since 2007.  Gentry held that an employment class action waiver was unenforceable as a matter of California public policy if the class action waiver would “undermine the vindication of the employees’ unwaivable statutory rights” under the Labor … Continue Reading

Forever 21 May Pursue Employment Claim in Arbitration

By Amy Messigian

Last month, the California Court of Appeal ruled that a former employee of Forever 21 must try her claims against the retailer in arbitration, enforcing the company’s employment arbitration policy and reversing a lower court decision finding the agreement unconscionable under California law.  The plaintiff, Maribel Baltazar, alleged that she had been discriminated against by the retailer due to her race and sexually harassed by a supervisor and coworker.  She filed a complaint against Forever 21 and several of its employees in the Los Angeles Superior Court and the retailer moved to compel Baltazar to arbitration.

Reversing … Continue Reading

.