Applied Medical forecloses class claims in putative wage and hour class action
Client(s) Applied Medical Resources Corporation
On June 2, 2017, Jones Day obtained a significant victory for client Applied Medical Resources Corporation in a putative wage and hour class action, prevailing on a motion to compel individual, non-class/non-representative arbitration. Plaintiff and former AMRC employee Jeffrey Cristobal alleged a panoply of statutory claims for violation of California's Labor Code and Unfair Competition Law on an individual and representative basis, including under the Private Attorney General Act, on behalf of thousands of current and former employees of AMRC. After full briefing and oral argument, the court granted AMRC’s motion to compel individual arbitration, and stayed the representative PAGA claim pending completion of the arbitration. The court also stayed the putative class claims pending the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Ernst & Young, which could impact the viability of class action waivers contained in employment agreements.
Notably, this putative class action was the first time that AMRC's new arbitration provision and Dispute Resolution Policy (instituted in 2015) were tested by a court. Jones Day prepared the agreement and policy for AMRC to replace a prior employment arbitration agreement that did not contain an express class waiver (but which Jones Day had previously successfully litigated to also foreclose class claims under the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Stolt-Nielsen.) The individual arbitration before the American Arbitration Association is currently pending.
Cristobal v. Applied Medical Resources Corp., Case No. 30-2016-00891275 (Super. Ct. Orange Cty., Cal.)