Rex Heinke Comments on Applicability of SCOTUS’ Concepcion Decision to L.A. Employment Dispute

Akin Gump appellate practice co-head Rex Heinke was quoted by Westlaw Journal Employment for its article “Concepcion applies to employment contracts, company tells California high court.”

CLS Transportation Los Angeles has asked the California Supreme Court to affirm a California appellate court’s extension of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Mobility LLC v. Concepcion to apply to employment contracts.  In Concepcion, the Court ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act trumps state law banning a class-action waiver to a mandatory arbitration clause.

Originally, the appellate court in California had granted CLS’ motion to compel arbitration based on California high court precedent in Gentry v. Superior Court, which holds that not all class-action waivers are “unconscionable,” i.e., sufficiently unfair that no reasonable or informed person would agree to it.

In light of Concepcion, however, the California appellate panel reversed itself to say that Concepcion overrules Gentry.

Regarding this reversal, Heinke says, “I think it is clear that Gentry has been overruled. I expect the California Supreme Court will see it that way.”