This day and age, there are plethora of important legal cases pertaining to our everyday lives, but last Monday, the Supreme Court ruled on the biggest business case of the term; that of which enables employers to block employees from banding together to fight legal disputes in employment arbitration agreements.
The case: Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, a 5-4 decision, narrows protection for employee rights, and continues the Supreme Court’s (majority) conservative ideals. The decision on Epic Systems also casts the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which gives employees the right to self-organization for mutual aid and protection, against the 1925 Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), which allows employers to “settle by arbitration”.
Lawyers for employers are rejoicing due to their long-backed support of arbitration as means of resolving conflicts; leading to some arguing that class action waivers are permissible under the 1925 law. Key word “permissible”. Also, workers aren’t in favor of the waivers due to their expense to bring individual claims.
So, what about class action bans?
Well, they’re no longer required for the employer to sign. As stated, employers who prefer to handle disputes through arbitration can do so if his/her employees want to band together to bring their challenges and alleged wrong.
In general: a win for employers, but a loss for employees.
Basically, an employer requires its employees, as a condition to keep their jobs, to sign and submit to individual arbitration of workplace conditions, claims, and hour/wages without the option to go to court, and without an option to pursue common-private arbitration with other employees making the same claim…
If you really think about it, the court’s decision on the Epic Systems case will inevitably lead to an explosion of imposed contracts, and some believe this will lead to a system that will not support vulnerable workers.
What are your thoughts? Share it on your page and let us know how you feel about it.