Earlier this term, the United States Supreme Court ruled on a landmark case – AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion. The ruling basically allows corporations to disallow class-action lawsuits as long as the appropriate language is found in the contract(s).
Vincent and Liza Concepcion of San Diego were charged $30.22 in sales tax for a cellphone that was advertised as free. When they tried to join a class-action lawsuit against AT&T Mobility, the cellphone company told them that, per the terms of their contract, the Concepcions were barred from joining the lawsuit and would need to dispute their claim through the arbitration process. After winning in both state and federal court in California, the Concepcions lost in the United States Supreme Court, which overturned the prior rulings.
Employment law experts believe this ruling will lead to most companies using “fine print take it or leave it” contracts for all aspects of their business – from employment issues with employees to goods and services contracts with consumers. Detractors of the ruling state that the Supreme Court has now given large corporations a “shield against corporate accountability.”
If you or someone you know owns or manages a California company, make sure your employment agreements and sales contracts are up to date with the most recent applicable laws. The Orange County Employment Law firm of Don Ho, LLP can assist business owners review their agreements and contracts to make sure they are insulated from potential pitfalls.
All factual information provided by the Los Angeles Times
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