The LA Times appears to be the only major California paper to cover Gentry. (Unless I missed it somewhere else--please send links.)
"For many workers, class-action lawsuits are the only type of lawsuits they can bring against their employer" because attorneys are reluctant to take on individual suits in which the potential awards are small, said Michael Rubin, a San Francisco lawyer who represented a former Circuit City worker in the case that went to the state Supreme Court.
Man, the Labor Commissioner just gets no love. Not from the Supreme Court, not from the Plaintiff's lawyer. Couldn't be because you don't necessarily get an attorneys' fee award there, could it? I'm also not sure why an epidemic of plaintiff's attorneys failing to take cases is the responsibility of employers (there is no such epidemic in the first place). In other systems, like the UK, small dollar litigation is much more swift and efficient, and solicitor's fees can be publicly funded. Maybe something like that is worth a look-see.
Although the Gentry decision binds only California employers, it will probably undermine arbitration waivers nationally. California law tends to set the standard in labor cases, Regan said. "National companies really desire consistency in their human resources policy, so they set the bar at California," she said.
But I thought employers were fleeing the world's 8th largest economy because of our bad laws? I'm confused. Of course, if you had been my client, you never would have played stunt-man with these highly dubious devices, and, therefore never been disappointed. But I don't earn $1,000/hr. and have offices on Wilshire, so what do I know. (Yes, I am jealous. (; )
The writing has been on the wall regarding the California Supreme Court's and Legislature's feelings about arbitration (Discover) and class actions (Sav-On), as distinct subjects, for a while. But, I guess someone has to be on the bleeding edge.
P.S. Is my journey to the "dark side" complete?