Employment Arbitration Agreements May Be Shown the Door

If the Governor signs AB 3080, 2019 will usher in a new era for employees in California.  Initially intended to address “lawyer tactics” in response to workplace sexual harassment claims, the bill (1) makes it unlawful to require arbitration agreements as a condition of employment (and to retaliate against an employee who does not agree to arbitration) and (2) limits the scope of non-disparagement clauses in settlement agreements.
 
Currently, federal law favors arbitration provisions, and there is expected to be a great deal of legal wrangling over whether the bill, if made law, would be preempted by federal authority.  Those in favor of the bill, though, argue that it is carefully crafted not to run afoul of federal preemption arguments.
 
The text of the bill can be found here.
 
September 30, 2018 is the last day for the Governor to sign or veto AB 3080.

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