Assembly Bill 51: Past and Future
By Matthew Helland and Juan Flores
Matthew Helland is the managing partner of the San Francisco office of Nichols Kaster, where he focuses his practice on class and collective wage and hour cases filed in California and throughout the country. In recent years he has developed an expertise in prosecuting mass individualized arbitrations on behalf of clients who, absent an arbitration agreement, would have been part of a class or collective wage and hour case. Mr. Helland serves as the Employee Co-Chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section Webinar Committee; the Vice Chair of the Education Committee of the California Employment Lawyers Association; the WARN Act subcommittee co-chair for the ABA Federal Labor Standards Legislation Committee; and a member of the Senior Editorial Board of BNA’s Fair Labor Standards Act treatise. Juan Flores is a 3L at the University of San Francisco School of Law, where he is the President of the Labor & Employment Law Students’ Association and the Executive Editor of USF Law Review Volume 54. Mr. Flores is currently a law clerk at Nichols Kaster in the Wage & Hour Group. He would like to thank Matt Helland and Danny Brome for their support and guidance, and for giving him the opportunity to be a part of the work they do to advance workers’ rights.
In Assembly Bill 51 (AB 51) the California Legislature sought to level the playing field between employers and employees by prohibiting employers from requiring current or prospective employees to waive any right, forum or procedure for a violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) or the California Labor Code as a condition of employment.