National Labor Relations Board Rules Leslie's Poolmart Engaged in Unfair Labor Practices By Requiring Employees To Sign Mandatory Arbitration Agreements

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National Labor Relations Judge orders Leslie's Poolmart to "cease and desist" from enforcing a mandatory binding arbitration policy that waives the right to maintain class actions

Blumthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik - Fighting for Workers Rights

Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik

Leslie's Poolmart violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act by maintaining and enforcing a mandatory and binding arbitration agreement

On January 17, 2014, National Labor Relations Board Judge Lisa D. Thompson concluded that Leslie's Poolmart violated Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act by maintaining and enforcing a mandatory and binding arbitration agreement. The Judge's ruling stems from an overtime class action lawsuit brought by Los Angeles Labor lawyers at Blumenthal Nordrehaug & Bhowmik that alleged Leslie's compensation plan is unlawful because Leslie's allegedly fails to calculate the correct overtime rates for their hourly employees. Cunningham v. Leslie's Poolmart, Inc. is currently pending in the United States District Court in the Central District of California, Case No. CV 13-2122 CAS (CWx). A copy of the original Complaint can be read here.

After the original lawsuit was filed, Leslie's filed a motion requesting the District Court to compel arbitration of the claims as a result of an arbitration agreement signed by the Plaintiff in the case. Plaintiff's attorneys at Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik then filed an Unfair Labor Practice Charge with the NLRB alleging a violation of section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act. See Case No. 21-CA-102332 is pending before the National Labor Relations Board.

The Honorable Lisa Thompson agreed with Plaintiff's Unfair Labor Practice Charge argument and found Leslie's Poolmart:

"violated Section 8(a)(1) of the [National Labor and Relations Act by maintaining and enforcing a mandatory and binding arbitration agreement which required employees to resolve certain employment-related disputes exclusively through individual arbitration and, though not expressly, but in practice, required them to relinquish any right they have to resolve such disputes through collective or class action."

A copy of Judge Thompson's Order regarding the arbitration agreement can be read here. Case No. 21-CA-102332 is pending before the National Labor Relations Board.

Judge Thompson stated in her Order that Leslie's shall "[r]escind or revise the arbitration agreement to make it clear to employees that the agreement does not constitute a waiver of their right to maintain employment related class or collective actions in all forms."

The attorneys representing Leslie's employees in this case are Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik. The firm is a Los Angeles employment law firm with offices located in San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The firm dedicates its practice to contingency fee employment law work for issues involving overtime pay, wrongful termination, discrimination and other California labor laws.

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Nicholas De Blouw
Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik
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