Three years ago Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation on employment arbitration, saying he wanted to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the issue. Now the Supreme Court has spoken: Businesses can ask employees to sign arbitration agreements to settle employment disputes instead of going through costly and lengthy litigation. So it’s time for the governor to follow through with another veto.
Any attempt to contradict the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing arbitration in employment contracts, as proposed in Assembly Bill 3080 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, would, as you have warned in the past when you vetoed similar legislation, “result in years of costly litigation and legal uncertainty.” What we can guarantee is that signing this bad bill would certainly add to an already unstable and hostile environment for California employers and forcing a burden on them that does not exist in other states.
Under AB 3080, California businesses, especially in cases involving disputes over alleged sexual harassment or misconduct, would be victimized. Not only would businesses and employers face civil liabilities for any violations of AB 3080, but they could also face criminal charges as well.
Business owners must be able to operate in an environment that is fair and competitive, not one that is legally stacked against them.
It’s clear that as written, AB 3080 could be greatly misused and serve to help trial attorneys, not workers. It creates an environment where lawyers can troll for unsuspecting employees willing to sue their bosses, under the auspices of a large payday. The number of civil claims that could then result from this law would overwhelm the state’s judiciary system by, in effect, forcing all claims to be tried by a judge and jury.
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