Supreme Court Ruling Gives Teeth to Employment Contracts Drawn to Minimize Corporate Exposure to Public Trials and Class Actions

Jess Bravin reported last week at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “A divided Supreme Court on Monday gave businesses the power to block employees from joining together to file claims for wage theft and other work-related violations, upholding employer-written rules requiring that each case be limited to a single employee.

“The decision, which overturns the position of the National Labor Relations Board and resolves a split among federal appeals courts, gives teeth to employment contracts drawn to minimize corporate exposure to public trials and class actions filed by their own employees.

“Tens of millions of employees currently work under contracts limiting redress to claims filed before a private arbitrator on an individualized basis. With the issue clarified, employers are expected to impose such limits on millions more.”

The Journal article noted that, “Business groups have championed individualized arbitration as an efficient means to resolve disputes and deter frivolous claims that would live longer and cost more if brought in open court. Consumer and labor organizations contend the private, often confidential system is stacked against individuals and can hide from public scrutiny systemic misconduct by a company or industry.”

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