The Supreme Court Just Made It A Lot Harder To Sue Your Employer!

The Supreme Court issued a very anti-worker decision.

Many large companies require employees to sign an arbitration clause that requires the employee to arbitrate violations of Federal labor laws rather than seek relief from a jury. The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot form classes or groups to litigate these issues. The effect is to eliminate employee challenges. Big business has a lot more money to spend on this than individuals. The only way for workers to fight on these issues is to have a large enough group to share the expense.

The Supreme Court case, National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., consolidated three separate cases involving different employers: the software company Epic Systems, the accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young, and the oil company and gas station chain Murphy Oil.

A former Murphy Oil employee, Sheila Hobson, claimed that when she worked at one of the company’s retail stores, she and her colleagues were required to do off-the-clock work they weren’t compensated for. They got together to sue the company for back pay. But when they consulted a lawyer, they learned they couldn’t take Murphy Oil to court as a group because they had already agreed to arbitration when they accepted their jobs.

“The court today holds enforceable this arm-twisted, take-it-or-leave-it contracts including the provisions requiring employees to litigate wage and hours claims only one-by-one,” she said. “Federal labor law does not countenance such isolation of employees.” ~ Justice Ruth Ginsburg Bader

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2018-09-27T08:58:30+00:00