The U.S. Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments Wednesday in a case involving Viking River Cruises that could make pursuing legal action against an employer harder for workers who have signed arbitration agreements as a condition of their employment.
The Supreme Court will make a ruling on Viking River Cruises Inc. vs. Moriana in June. The ruling will determine the enforceability of California’s Private Attorneys General Act, a 2003 law which allows California workers to sue their employers on behalf of the state for employment-law violations.
If the Supreme Court overturns the California law and upholds the Federal Arbitration Agreement, which allows employers to enforce mandatory arbitration and compel employees to settle disputes before an arbiter selected by the employer, then employees will be forced to bring forth disputes individually outside of public court proceedings and settle disputes in private arbitration instead.
Currently under the law, employees may bring forth disputes on behalf of similarly situated workers who are also alleging employment violations.
Angie Moriana, who worked as a sales representative for Viking River Cruises in 2016 and 2017, sued Viking in a representative action for alleged violations of California labor laws. Moriana alleges that Viking violated California wage and hour laws.
Viking has argued that Moriana agreed to arbitration as a condition of her employment and has attempted to get the case dismissed.
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