Supreme Court Rules Employers Can Ban Class Action Lawsuits in Arbitration

The Supreme Court, dealing a potential blow to the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, ruled that employers can require as a condition of employment that workers waive their rights to participate in class action lawsuits.

In a 5-4 ruling on a trio of cases penned by Justice Neil Gorsuch, the court’s Republican majority sided with businesses whose employment contracts include mandatory arbitration clauses that prevent class action lawsuits. Instead, workers who take to the courts against an employer must do so as individuals.

In addition, the ruling largely closes off as a future option for the #MeToo movement collective legal action against a business where sexual harassment is common.

“You’d have to go one by one.” said Ceilidh Gao, an attorney at the National Employment Law Project. She warned the ruling “will make it harder for women and other workers to join their voices together to fight sexual harassment.”

In a rare move, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read a dissent from the bench warning the decision would lead to the “underenforcement of federal and state statutes designed to advance the well-being of vulnerable workers.“ She called the majority ruling “egregiously wrong” and called on Congress to step in to update federal labor law.

Gorsuch rejected the notion that the court’s decision would return America to a place where labor laws could not be effectively enforced. “Like most apocalyptic warnings, this one proves a false alarm,” he wrote.

Read the full article at Politico


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