Viking River Cruises, Inc. v. Moriana, 2022 U.S. LEXIS 2940 (June 15, 2022) (Alito, J.) We granted certiorari in this case to decide whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U. S. C. §1 et seq., preempts a rule of California law that invalidates contractual waivers of the right to assert representative claims under California’s Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004. Cal. Lab. Code Ann. §2698 et seq. (West 2022). Petitioner Viking River Cruises, Inc. (Viking), is a company that offers ocean and river cruises around the world. When respondent Angie Moriana was hired by Viking as a sales representative, she executed an agreement to arbitrate any dispute arising out of her employment. The agreement contained a “Class Action Waiver” providing that in any arbitral proceeding, the parties could not bring any dispute as a class, collective, or representative PAGA action. It also contained a severability clause specifying that if the waiver was found invalid, any class, collective, representative, or PAGA action would presumptively be litigated in court. But under that severability clause, if any “portion” of the waiver remained valid, it would be “enforced in arbitration.” A state rule imposing an expansive rule of joinder in the arbitral context would defeat the ability of parties to control which claims are subject to arbitration. Such a rule would permit parties to superadd new claims to the proceeding, regardless of whether the agreement between them committed those claims to arbitration. Requiring arbitration procedures to include a joinder rule of that kind compels parties to either go along with an arbitration in which the range of issues under consideration is determined by coercion rather than consent, or else forgo arbitration altogether. Either way, the parties are coerced into giving up a right they enjoy under the FAA. See Lamps Plus, 587 U. S., at ___-___, 139 S. Ct. 1407, 203 L. Ed. 2d 636 (slip op., at 6-8); Epic Systems, 584 U. S., at ___-___, 138 S. Ct. 1612, 200 L. Ed. 2d 889 (slip op., at 5-9); Concepcion, 563 U. S., at 347-351; Stolt-Nielsen, 559 U. S., at 684-687. Viking was entitled to enforce the agreement insofar as it mandated arbitration of Moriana’s individual PAGA claim. The lower courts refused to do so based on the rule that PAGA actions cannot be divided into individual and non-individual claims. Under our holding, that rule is preempted, so Viking is entitled to compel arbitration of Moriana’s individual claim. Moriana lacks statutory standing to continue to maintain her non-individual claims in court, and the correct course is to dismiss her remaining claims.
ARBITRATION-FEDERAL ARBITRATION ACT PREEMPTION
June 28th, 2022 by Rieders Travis in Arbitration