Issue: Employment
Court: U.S. Supreme Court

Term: October 2015
Oral Argument: October 6, 2015
Vote: 6-3
Opinion: Justice Breyer
Lower Court: California Court of Appeal, Second District

Question Presented:
Whether the California Court of Appeal erred by holding, in direct conflict with the Ninth Circuit, that a reference to state law in an arbitration agreement governed by the Federal Arbitration Act requires the application of state law preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act.

RLC's Position:
The RLC joined a brief with other business associations asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the California Court of Appeal's decision that the California state-law ban on class-action waivers applies to an arbitration provision governed by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA).  Arbitration allows parties to resolve disputes in a less adversarial and time-consuming manner than in-court litigation. Therefore, the brief asks the Supreme Court to ensure that state courts consistently apply this Court’s precedent that the FAA preempts state-laws that find arbitration agreements unenforceable.

Case Outcome:
Because the California Court of Appeal's interpretation is pre-empted by the Federal Arbitration Act, that court must enforce the arbitration agreement.  

Procedural History and Case Documents