A new California statute - California Labor Code § 925 - that became effective January 1, 2017, prohibits employers from requiring employees who live and work in California from litigating their employment claims elsewhere. Section 925 also prohibits attempts to limit the application of California law to employee claims.
Consistent with what many consider an employment 'best practice,' all manner of employers distribute employee handbooks and have their employees sign a separate, written acknowledgement that they received a copy of the handbook. Most of these handbooks contain clear statements that the employment is 'at-will.' In addition, many of these handbooks contain language requiring that all employment disputes be submitted to arbitration, rather than decided in a court with a jury. In late-2016, the practice of putting the important at-will language and the arbitration requirement in the same document became problematic.