As we look at a recent 5-4 Supreme Court ruling in Epic Systems v. Lews we see what appears to be a huge loss to workers and their rights. Workers can no longer sue their companies in class-action (large scale) lawsuits but must now resolve through arbitration.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg found this ruling to be so incorrect that in her dissent she called on Congress to protect workers rights by taking action in the form of new legislation.
But has this ruling crushed workers in favor of big companies and will these companies trample any and all who try to oppose their will?
The majority of claims made every day do not fall into a “Class-Action” category so this ruling would not affect a majority of suits. This change will not affect Federal and State administrative agencies as they cannot be forced into private arbitration agreements.
Another aspect to consider is how might arbitration help the typical worker in their claims. Arbitration is a much easier process for the average worker to take on and does not require the aid of an attorney. Most people do not have the means and experience to get the right attorney for their particular need and the process can be a slow one. Will arbitration cut time and costs for both sides allowing for money to be put towards a solution?
Will arbitration create an environment that allows more claims to come forward and make companies more willing to work with their employees knowing arbitration is easily accessible to an average employee?
Maybe its too soon to call on Congress to ask for new laws and instead give arbitration a chance to work?
You be the Justice – Hear the oral argument Date Argued: 10/02/17
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