The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in three cases that may fundamentally shift the workplace, by ruling whether or not employees wronged by their employer can band together and sue on a class action basis.
There is a deep divide among courts over mandatory arbitration clauses, especially in the three cases argued today. The cases all involve employees required to sign agreements waiving their rights to bring cases in court and waiving their right to seek remedies for others similarly situated to them, ie. on a class action basis. Some judges, like Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, are swayed by the lack of true bargaining power for employees – like yellow dog contracts. Others, like Chief Justice John Roberts may take a more black and white approach, wondering if these types of contracts are illegal across the board.
If you’re dealing with a workplace dispute, an arbitration clause may impact your choices. We’ll know very soon.