A divided Ninth Circuit panel reversed. Judge Lucero, a Tenth Circuit judge sitting by designation, wrote the majority opinion (joined by Judge Fletcher). Judge Ikuta dissented.

Once the court’s mandate issues, the district court’s injunction will dissolve. The mandate will issue in about 21 days, unless a party files a petition for rehearing or asks for a stay of the mandate pending the filing of a petition for writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court.

Whatever option the plaintiffs pursue, it’s unlikely that the 3-judge Ninth Circuit panel will have the last word.

If the decision stands, businesses with employees in California will need to take a close look at their employment policies and standard contracts to ensure compliance with AB 51.