Viking River Cruises sails through SCOTUS oral argument

Supreme Court considers arbitration waivers of PAGA claims.

In 2014, the California Supreme Court declared unenforceable arbitration agreements in which employees waive the right to bring a representative action under the California Private Attorneys General Act.

That decision now hangs in the balance with the anticipated decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana.

The Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Viking River Cruises. As Steve Katz discusses in this Daily Journal op ed (linked with permission), the oral argument seemed to indicate that a majority of the Justices would decide Viking River Cruises in line with prior decisions upholding class action waivers. In other words, we may see a ruling invalidating the ban on the enforcement of bilateral agreements to waive PAGA representative claims.

In his analysis, Steve -- who is co-chair of Constangy's Appellate Practice Group -- walks us through the votes in the prior decisions, what the questioning (or absence thereof) means, and his reasons for predicting that the Court will ultimately stick to precedent.

(Steve also has some interesting observations on the implications that the Viking River Cruises decision could have in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Org., which threatens the viability of Roe v. Wade.)

We expect a ruling in Viking River Cruises by the end of June. If you have any questions about the case or about employment arbitration agreements in general, please contact your Constangy attorney.  

California employment laws keep employers up at night, wondering what is coming next. There always seems to be something. From new statutes to new regulations to new court decisions, we will keep you up to date on developments in the areas of wage and hour, discrimination, leaves of absence, retaliation, class actions, PAGA, and arbitration. We’ll also provide you with practical information on how to update your policies and employment practices. Please subscribe to keep current.

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