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September 4, 2007

On August 30, 2007 the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Gentry v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, a former customer service manager of Circuit City filed a class action lawsuit against Circuit City, his employer, for overtime wages and unfair business practices.  Based upon an arbitration agreement Gentry signed at the beginning of his employment that contained a class-action arbitration waiver, Circuit City compelled Gentry to arbitration to pursue his claims on an individual basis.  On review, the appellate court determined the class action waiver contained in the arbitration agreement was valid and that the agreement was not procedurally unconscionable, as it had a 30-day opt out provision. </a> </br>The California Supreme Court, however, did not necessarily agree. Although the Court did not conclude that all class action arbitration waivers are invalid, its decision requires trial courts to extensively scrutinize such provisions in arbitration agreements with regards to overtime wage litigation.

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