Court Denies Motion To Compel Arbitration In Wage and Hour Case Featured

  17 February 2017

Plaintiff Tanya Vasserman sued her former employer, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital (the Hospital) for violations of the California Labor Code and other statutes relating to meal and rest breaks, unpaid wages, and unpaid overtime compensation. 

The Hospital argued that the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) relevant to Vasserman’s employment required her to arbitrate her claims.The trial court denied the Hospital’s motion to compel arbitration on the grounds that Vasserman alleged claims that arose under state law, rather than the CBAs that governed her employment and therefore resolution of her claims would not substantially depend on interpretation of the CBA’s. The Hospital appealed and the appellate court concluded that if Vasserman’s statutory rights were to be determined only by arbitration, the collective bargaining agreement should have made that clear. According to the court, “[t]he collective bargaining agreement here required arbitration of claims arising under the agreement, but it did not include an explicitly stated, clear and unmistakable waiver of the right to a judicial forum for claims based on statute. The trial court therefore correctly denied the Hospital’s motion to compel arbitration.” Read more here.