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Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno (Cal. 2011)

Articles Discussing Case:

California Supreme Court Follows Concepcion But Allows Courts to Strike Down Unconscionable Arbitration Agreements

Ogletree Deakins • October 28, 2013
Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno, No. S174475, (October 17, 2013): As expected following the recent decision by the Supreme Court of the United States interpreting the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), the California Supreme Court struck down its own rule on arbitration agreements. In Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno, the state’s highest court categorically prohibited the waiver of a Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) Berman hearing in a mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreement as preempted by the FAA. The court kept alive, however, challenges to such arbitration agreements where the employee can show that such agreements are found to be unconscionable.

California Supreme Court Rules That Arbitration Agreements May Not Preclude Employees’ Right to An Administrative Hearing

Ogletree Deakins • March 08, 2011
In a 4-3 decision, the California Supreme Court ruled that arbitration agreements between employers and employees are not enforceable to the extent that they require employees to arbitrate their wage claims before they have a non-binding administrative hearing before the State Labor Commissioner (known as a “Berman” hearing). The state high court held that any preclusion of an employee’s right to a Berman hearing violates public policy and is, therefore, unconscionable, and that the court’s holding was not preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA)

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