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The United States Supreme Court ruled in the case of Moriana v. Viking River Cruises, Inc., that the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) overrules, in part, California Supreme Court authority limiting the application of arbitration agreements to representative actions brought under California’s Private Attorney General Act (“PAGA”).  The case signals that California employers may now use arbitration agreements against PAGA lawsuits being brought in court and the remainder of the case being arbitrated.

The Court held that the FAA preempts prior California caselaw that allowed the courts to split a representative plaintiff’s individual PAGA claims from non-individual specific claims of the other allegedly aggrieved employees that the PAGA plaintiff seeks to represent.  So, now, an employee can be compelled under an arbitration agreement to litigate their individual PAGA claim and other absent employee claims under PAGA will now not be joined into that arbitration.  But, whether the plaintiff can be a representative plaintiff in court PAGA litigation is still up in the air and this part of the effect of the ruling will likely be the subject of future litigation in California.  Employers should review  and update them consistent with this decision.

Here at Epps & Coulson, LLP, we work to remain up to date with the changes to the laws as they occur.  To learn more about employment arbitration agreements and to update your employee handbook and policies please feel free to contact us at Epps & Coulson, LLP: Dawn at:

Information contained in this Memo is intended for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.  It is likely considered advertising.  Epps & Coulson, LLP encourages you to call to discuss these matters as they apply to you or your business.

Attorneys admitted to practice in California, New York, Colorado, Texas, and Oregon