- Written by Gregory Blueford
As we briefly reported on here, the U.S. Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) ruled Monday that arbitration agreements that force workers to sign away their rights to pursue class and representative action claims are legal, rejecting the National Labor Relations Board’s position that class waivers violate federal labor law.
In 1925, Congress passed the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), which (among other things) provides that an agreement to arbitrate a dispute “shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable.” Ten years later, Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”), which makes clear that employees have the right to work together for “mutual aid and protection.” SCOTUS’ decision resolved a trio of cases involving Epic Systems Corp., Murphy Oil USA Inc., and Ernst & Young, LLP. In each case, an employee who signed an arbitration agreement with a class action waiver filed a lawsuit in federal court, seeking to bring both individual and collective claims and not arbitrate their individual claims as required by the arbitration agreement. The employers argued that, under the terms of the arbitration agreements, the employees needed to pursue their claims on an individual basis in arbitration.
- Written by Rebecca Hause-Schultz
Earlier today, the Supreme Court issued an important decision in the Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis case, holding that the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) does not create for employees a right to class actions. This means that arbitration agreements between employers and employees containing a class action waiver are enforceable.