Finding that a party “may not be compelled . . . to submit to class arbitration unless there is a contractual basis for concluding that the party agreed to do so,” a California Court of Appeal held that an employer could not be required to submit to arbitrate the plaintiff’s class claims where the arbitration agreement at issue neither authorized nor prohibited class arbitration.
The plaintiff in Kinecta Alternative Financial Solutions, Inc. v. Malone brought both individual and class claims against her employer for various wage and hour violations. The employer moved to compel arbitration of the individual claims and dismiss the class claims from the arbitration, on the grounds that the arbitration agreement at issue did not contemplate arbitration of class claims. The California Court of Appeal agreed, and held that the employer was only obligated to arbitrate the individual claims for relief and not the class claims.