December 30, 2019

Federal Judge Temporarily Enjoins California From Enforcing AB 51

This morning, a federal judge from the Eastern District of California granted a temporary restraining order preventing California from enforcing Assembly Bill (AB) 51. 

AB 51-which was set to take effect on January 1, 2020-prohibits employers from requiring, as a condition of employment, employees to waive their right to any forum or procedure to bring claims under the Labor Code or the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Several industry groups filed a complaint, alleging that AB 51 is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act and violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution. 

The Court’s order brings only a temporary halt to California’s enforcement of AB 51 based on the arguments made in the complaint, and the Court set a hearing for the industry groups’ motion for preliminary injunction for January 10, 2020. If the Court grants the industry groups’ motion for preliminary injunction, California will be enjoined from enforcing AB 51 throughout the pendency of that litigation. 

Contact Payne & Fears LLP if you have any questions about this order or AB 51.