New CA Arbitration Case

arbitration Dec 05, 2023

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Do arbitration rules apply when foreign workers are hired? 

Last month, the Second District Court of Appeal addressed this issue and issue an important new decision. 

New CA Arbitration Decision  

State of Cal. v. Alco Harvest (2023) _ Cal.App.5th _ , 2023 WL 8107805: The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order denying defendant’s motion to compel arbitration regarding plaintiff’s complaint alleging individual employment claims and a Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) claim against defendant employers, including defendant Alco Harvesting LLC (defendant). Plaintiff was a foreign worker hired under the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program which allows employers to recruit foreign agricultural workers when the domestic labor market cannot meet employers’ needs. The United States Department of Labor must certify an employer’s participation in the H-2A program. The trial court properly found that defendant’s arbitration agreement was void and denied the motion to compel arbitration. Arbitration was a material term and condition of plaintiff’s employment, and as such, a job requirement that defendant should have disclosed during the H-2A certification process. Defendant did not disclose the arbitration requirement, making it void. (C.A. 2nd, November 22, 2023.)

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I help attorneys and their clients settle cases as a mediator, fairly decide cases as an arbitrator, and fairly decide issues as a referee at ADR Services, Inc. in the areas of business, employment, insurance (bad faith, coverage, UIM) probate (trusts and estates), real property, and torts (elder abuse, medical malpractice, personal injury, product liability and wrongful death). As a Zoom expert, I conduct Zoom and in-person hearings throughout California. To schedule a matter, please contact my case managers at ADR Services, Inc., Haward Cho, (213) 683-1600, 
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