June 22, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – The Trump administration is taking employers’ side in a Supreme Court case involving whether workers can be forced to sign compulsory-arbitration agreements that prohibit them from filing class-action lawsuits.
The administration filed court papers June 16 saying it would no longer defend an Obama-era decision by the National Labor Relations Board such agreements, which require workers to take any disputes with their employer to arbitration, violate the National Labor Relations Act. Acting U.S. Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall told the Court that workers who waive the right to collective litigation cannot “escape the consequences of that choice.” Workers argue that arbitrators are often biased in favor of employers, and that class-action suits are essential in situations where wage theft or discrimination are widespread, because it’s prohibitively expensive to sue an employer on their own. The NLRB told the Court June 15 that its own lawyer would defend the board’s ruling in the case, NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA. Read more
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