December 23, 2021

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear PAGA Challenge

The United States Supreme Court has granted review in a case in which the Justices will decide whether the Federal Arbitration Act requires enforcement of a bilateral arbitration agreement providing that an employee cannot raise representative claims, including under the California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). 

In the case, Viking River Cruises v. Moriana, plaintiff Angie Morana, who worked as a sales representative for the cruise line, brought a lawsuit against her former employer under PAGA. PAGA allows an employee to seek an award for violations of state labor laws on her own behalf as well as on behalf of other employees. The cruise line sought to compel Moriana to arbitrate her claims individually, citing the arbitration agreement she had signed when she was hired.  However, the state courts ruled that under state law, the arbitration agreement could not be enforced and the plaintiff could pursue her PAGA claims collectively on behalf of other employees.   

The Justices will likely hear argument in the spring, with a decision to follow by summer. 

Look for additional updates on this case in Western Growers Legal Insights.