USA: More companies require employees to bring serious complaints to arbitration & forbid them from participating in class actions

Author: Lauren Weber, Wall Street Journal, Published on: 1 April 2015

"More Companies Block Employees From Filing Suits", 31 Mar 2015 [Subscription required]

…As employers try to stem the costs of lawsuits, more companies are requiring workers to bring serious complaints to arbitration and forbidding employees from participating in class actions. The percentage of companies using arbitration clauses to preclude class-action claims soared to 43% last year from 16% in 2012, according to a survey…Fueling the trend is a 2011 Supreme Court ruling that upheld such agreements. The result, say lawyers on both sides of the issue, has been a notable decline in actions that accuse corporations of wage theft, discrimination, and other systemic violations of labor laws. Employers prefer arbitration because it is usually less expensive and faster than litigation…A 2011 Cornell University study found that arbitrations favor employers more often than litigation does, and result in lower awards for employees…The National Labor Relations Board [NLRB] has ruled that class-action waivers violate the National Labor Relations Act…But the NLRB’s argument has been challenged in circuit courts, which have ruled against it, upholding the Supreme Court’s direction…Lawyers also argue that the agreements and waivers exist on an unequal playing field, with workers either having no choice but to accept the clauses in order to work or having to embark on an arduous process to opt out…[Refers to Arise Virtual Solutions, AT&T, CleanNet, CVS, D.R. Horton, Halliburton, Nordstrom, Sears Holding, Murphy Oil USA, Uber]

 

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Related companies: AT&T CVS D.R. Horton Halliburton Murphy Oil Nordstrom Sears Uber