Another Pitfall of Arbitration
Supreme Court Holds That Release of “Any and All” Claims Cannot be Read to Include Non-Waivable Claims

Opinion Due Tomorrow re Release of Non-Waivable Labor Code Rights

The Supreme Court will be publishing its decision tomorrow morning in Edwards v. Arthur Andersen, LLP (Case no. S147190). The case arises out of a non-competition agreement, but the scope of issues presented means that the opinion could have broader implications for employees with a variety of Labor Code claims. The case presents the following issues:

(1) Is a noncompetition agreement between an employer and an employee that prohibits the employee from performing services for former clients invalid under Business and Professions Code section 16600, unless it falls within the statutory or judicially created trade secrets exceptions to the statute? (2) Does a contract provision releasing “any and all” claims the employee might have against the employer encompass nonwaivable statutory protections, such as the employee indemnity protection of Labor Code section 2802?

For wage & hour litigants and their lawyers, the second half of the opinion might be important.

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