A Newly-Constituted Supreme Court Hears Major Labor Rights Case

A Newly-Constituted Supreme Court Hears Major Labor Rights Case

On October 2, 2017, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a major labor rights case.  This is the Court’s first major labor and employment case since President Donald Trump appointed Neal Gorsuch to the Court earlier this year.  The question in this case is whether arbitration agreements that bar individual employees from joining class action employment lawsuits violate the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).

Under the NLRA, employees have a right to engage in collective action for their mutual aid and protection, and it is an unfair labor practice for employers to interfere with this right.  However, courts have split over the question of whether class action waivers violate the NLRA.  The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that these agreements do not violate the NLRA, while the Seventh and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that these agreements violate the NLRA.

The Court’s decision will have a significant impact on workers and employers alike.  Perhaps more importantly, the Court’s decision here may be indicative of the outcome in future labor and employment cases to come before the newly-constituted Court – for example, the pending case involving the mandatory collection of union dues from non-union members.

We will be closely monitoring the Court’s decision in this and other labor and employment cases.  If you are seeking assistance in preparing employment agreements, such as arbitration agreements, or with any other employment matter, please contact one of our Labor and Employment attorneys: Tom Ryan, Esq. (tryan@lcrlaw.com); Ursula Leo, Esq. (uleo@lcrlaw.com); Jessica Jansyn, Esq. (jjansyn@lcrlaw.com); or Michael Darbee, Esq. (mdarbee@lcrlaw.com).  Our attorneys can also be reached by phone at (973) 729-1880.