In Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, the U.S. Supreme Court today finds a rule stated by the California Supreme Court eight years ago is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act.

Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (2014) 59 Cal.4th 348, cert. denied, CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC v. Iskanian (2015) 574 U.S. 1121, held that an arbitration agreement requiring an employee to waive the right to bring in any forum representative actions under California’s Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act is invalid as contrary to public policy. The opinion also barred requiring arbitration of just an employee’s individual PAGA claim as interfering with PAGA’s goals.

It is the latter holding that the Viking River Cruises decision abrogates: “the FAA preempts the rule of Iskanian insofar as it precludes division of PAGA actions into individual and non-individual claims through an agreement to arbitrate.”

Horvitz & Levy filed an amicus curiae brief in Iskanian and, in Viking River Cruises, it filed an amicus brief in support of certiorari and also an amicus brief on the merits.


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