California Supremes Limit Arbitration Waivers

The key excerpt from this latest ruling from the California Supreme Court, McGill v Citybank, says it all:

In previous decisions, this court has said that the statutory remedies available for a violation of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA; Civ. Code, § 1750 et seq.), the unfair competition law (UCL; Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200 et seq.), and the false advertising law (id., § 17500 et seq.) include public injunctive relief, i.e., injunctive relief that has the primary purpose and effect of prohibiting unlawful acts that threaten future injury to the general public. (Cruz v. PacifiCare Health Systems, Inc. (2003) 30 Cal.4th 303, 315-316 (Cruz); Broughton v. Cigna Healthplans (1999) 21 Cal.4th 1066, 1077 (Broughton).) The question we address in this case is the validity of a provision in a predispute arbitration agreement that waives the right to seek this statutory remedy in any forum. We hold that such a provision is contrary to California public policy and is thus unenforceable under California law. We further hold that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA; 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq.) does not preempt this rule of California law or require enforcement of the waiver provision. We therefore reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

Let’s see what the US Supreme Court plus Gorsuch does with this pro-consumer, pro-employee ruling . . .


  1. Esme on June 26, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    What if my Employer wants me to sign a paper saying that I waive my right to a public trial in the event of an accident, lost wages, wage theft, espionage, any other dispute that may arise while I work for them. By signing such document I agree to only arbitration with no lawyer of my own or of my choice and am subject to accept and stand by the outcome, regardless if I agree. And if I don’t sign this document I will basically be resigning to my job that I have had for 15+ years. And I will not be eligible for unemployment or any benefits. Can they legally do this not just to me, but to everyone who works in this department?

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