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SCOTUS Rules for Employers on Arbitration

Human Resource Executive

As you may have seen by now, the U.S. Supreme Court handed a major win to employers yesterday in its 5-4 decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, ruling that individual arbitration agreements and class- and collective-action waivers are enforceable.


According to Anthony Haller with Blank Rome, the decision puts to rest any argument that the National Labor Relations Act prevents or limits waivers’ enforceability, as well as “provides employers further options for limiting litigation risk, particularly with respect to costly wage and hour collective actions.”

The decision, Haller says, has significant ramifications for the scope of class-action waivers. In each of the three consolidated cases, the plaintiffs sought to press class actions with Fair Labor Standards Act and related state law claims.

“The decision represents a broader affirmation, however, that arbitration agreements are enforceable regardless of the nature of an employee’s claim, even if the claims are brought pursuant to employment statutes that explicitly provide for collective action,” Haller says.

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"SCOTUS Rules for Employers on Arbitration," by Michael J. O'Brien was published in Human Resource Executive on May 22, 2018.