Breaking: California Grants Preliminarily Injunction of AB-51

Caroline Powell Donelan

UPDATE: Today, a federal court preliminarily enjoined the enforcement of AB-51 (California’s anti-arbitration law discussed here, here, and here) as it relates to arbitration agreements governed by the Federal Arbitration Association (“FAA”). We will get a detailed order from the court soon, but the minute order issued today is below. A great reminder to employers who wish to implement arbitration that the agreement should always expressly state it is governed by the FAA.


MINUTE ORDER issued by Courtroom Deputy C. Schultz for Chief District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller: On January 10, 2020, the court heard oral argument on plaintiffs’ motion to preliminarily enjoin enforcement of California Assembly Bill 51 (“AB 51”). ECF No. 5 . At hearing, the court granted each party opportunity to file a supplemental brief addressing the issues of jurisdiction and severability. See ECF Nos. 37 , 40 . The court also ordered the temporary restraining order previously imposed, ECF No. 24 , remain in effect until January 31, 2020. Now, having carefully considered all relevant briefing, including supplemental briefing, the court GRANTS plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in full. In the coming days the court will explain its reasoning in a detailed, written order; however, as of this minute order, the following preliminary injunction shall take effect:

1. Defendant Xavier Becerra, in his official capacity as the Attorney General of the State of California, Lilia Garcia Brower, in her official capacity as the Labor Commissioner of the State of California, Julia A. Su, in her official capacity as the Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and Kevin Kish, in his official capacity as Director of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing are:

a. Enjoined from enforcing sections 432.6(a), (b), and (c) of the California Labor Code where the alleged “waiver of any right, forum, or procedure” is the entry into an arbitration agreement covered by the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16 (“FAA”); and

b. Enjoined from enforcing section 12953 of the California Government Code where the alleged violation of “Section 432.6 of the Labor Code” is entering into an arbitration agreement covered by the FAA.

2. There is no realistic likelihood of harm to defendants from preliminarily enjoining enforcement of AB 51, so no security bond is required. It is so ordered.

(Text Only Entry) (Schultz, C) (Entered: 01/31/2020)


 

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