Supreme Court Rules 5-4 Corporations Can Block Employees’ Class Action Suits, Neil Gorsuch Writes Opinion Against Workers
The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to remove the rights of American workers to file a class action lawsuit against their employers.
The high court ruled that companies can force their workers to give up their legal rights by making them sign a company-created arbitration agreement, notes Reuters.
An arbitration agreement forces employees with grievances — usually about wages and hours — to go to an arbitration hearing which is headed by an abirtrator who is usually chosen by the company.
Growing numbers of corporations have demanded that their employees give up their rights to seek legal recourse in a court of law in class action cases, which can result in large rulings for employees.
President Donald Trump’s administration reversed the government’s policy in favor of arbitration, which wiped out the gains that workers made under former President Barack Obama’s administration.
Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s appointee to the court, wrote the 5-4 ruling against workers:
The policy may be debatable but the law is clear: Congress has instructed that arbitration agreements like those before us must be enforced as written.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the dissent by calling the ruling “egregiously wrong”:
The court today holds enforceable these arm-twisted, take-it-or-leave it contracts — including the provisions requiring employees to litigate wages and hours claims only one-by-one. Federal labor law does not countenance such isolation of employees.