ARBITRATION COMPANIES MUST DISCLOSE CERTAIN INFORMATION « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


“Private” Arbitrations No Longer Private In California

Effective January 1, 2015 in California, private arbitration companies, including the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services (JAMS), must publicly post certain previously-confidential information about their arbitrations. (Assembly Bill [AB] 802).

AB 802 amends California Code of Civil Procedure section 1281.96 to require AAA, JAMS and their competitors to publish detailed profiles on all consumer arbitrations, including employment-related matters. The legislation effectively eradicates confidentiality, previously one of the key advantages of arbitration over court proceedings.

The publicly available information must include:

1) Whether the arbitration was demanded pursuant to a written agreement and, if so, whether the agreement designated that particular company to administer the arbitration;
2) The employer’s business name and whether it was the initiating or responding party;
3) The nature of the dispute (e.g. employment) and the amount of the employee’s annual wages;
4) Whether the employer or employee was the prevailing party;
5) The total number of occasions the employer has been involved in mediations or arbitrations administered by that company;
6) Whether the employee was represented by an attorney and, if so, the attorney’s name;
7) The dates of the demand for arbitration, of the arbitrator’s appointment, and of the arbitrator’s disposition (decision);
8) The type of disposition (i.e., withdrawal, abandonment, settlement, monetary award, or dismissal without hearing);
9) The amounts of the claim, any monetary award, any attorney’s fees awarded, and details on any other relief granted; and
10) The arbitrator’s name and his or her fee amount.

These case-by-case disclosures must be made at least quarterly on the arbitrator’s website in a searchable format from a conspicuously displayed “consumer case information” link.

For more information about this recent development and how it might affect your workplace policies and practices, please contact any of our office’s attorneys, Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.