Employers can use arbitration clauses in employment contracts to prohibit workers from participating in class action lawsuits to challenge workplace policies, according to a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court issued on ruled on May 21, 2018. The case is EPIC Systems Corp. v. Lewis, (No. 16-285).
The court opinion states in part,
As a matter of policy these questions are surely debatable. But as a matter of law the answer is clear. In the Federal Arbitration Act, Congress has instructed federal courts to enforce arbitration agreements according to their terms—including terms providing for individualized proceedings.
The court considered three cases involving arbitration clauses that all involved employees seeking to litigate Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims relating to overtime or minimum wage through class or collective actions in federal court. In every instance, the employee was party to an employment agreement that stipulated the use of individual arbitration proceedings.
In one matter, Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, a junior accountant entered into an agreement providing that the parties would arbitrate any disputes that might arise between them. After his employment ended, Mr. Morris nonetheless sued his former employer in federal court. He alleged that the firm had misclassified its junior accountants as professional employees and violated the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and California law by paying them salaries without overtime pay.
The employees bringing the three lawsuits in question had argued that the Federal Arbitration Act, which generally requires courts to enforce arbitration agreements as written, removes this obligation under the “saving clause” if an arbitration agreement violates some other federal law.
Click on the link to read the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on arbitration clauses in EPIC Systems v. Lewis.
Employment Law Marketing Services for Defense Law Firms
This blog post is a sample of the content marketing services available from Legal Expert Connections, Inc. We have helped almost 150 insurance defense law firms pursue new insurance panel counsel clients, and are very familiar with employment practices liability (EPLI) panels.
Legal Expert Connections, Inc. offers three key benefits to insurance defense law firms nationwide:
- We are the leading U.S. legal marketing agency specializing in the insurance defense market. We know the panel counsel process and can accelerate your business development efforts by identifying who you need to contact.
- You get a structured business development process. We guide your law firm through a proven three-step campaign that brings discipline, focus, and productivity to your marketing efforts.
- Increase revenue with professional, Bar-compliant legal marketing campaigns. We do the research to identify insurance panel managers, so you can focus your time on the business development process.