Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.
Almost one year after the U.S. Supreme Court summarily vacated the original 2011 Sonic-Calabasas opinion (Sonic I), the California Supreme Court issued its opinion on remand in Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno (Sonic II). The court’s five-to-two Sonic II majority opinion conceded that U.S. Supreme Court precedent and the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preclude California courts from striking down arbitration agreements simply because they deny an employee’s access to administrative wage claim (Berman) hearings in lieu of an arbitral process. Despite the court’s recognition that “courts cannot impose unconscionability rules that interfere with arbitral efficiency,” Sonic II affirms California courts’ continuing authority to invalidate arbitration agreements that are unfair (unconscionable) to employees. To learn more about the decision, please see Littler's ASAP, Through the Lens of Concepcion: California Supreme Court Revisits the Validity of Agreements Requiring Employee Waiver of Wage Claim Administrative Processes, by Henry Lederman, Christopher Cobey, and Alexa Woerner.