U.s. top court backs companies over worker class-action claims new hampshire electricity 101 youtube

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a blow to the rights of workers on Monday by allowing companies to require them to sign away their ability to bring class-action claims against management, agreements already in place for about 25 million employees.

The justices, in a 5-4 ruling with the court’s conservatives in the majority, endorsed the legality of the growing practice by companies to compel workers to sign arbitration agreements waiving their right to bring class-action claims on various disputes, primarily over wages and hours.

Growing numbers of employers have demanded that their workers sign waivers, guarding against the rising number of class-action claims brought by workers on wage issues. Class-action litigation can result in large damages awards by juries and is harder for businesses to fight than cases brought by individual plaintiffs.

Republican President Donald Trump’s administration last year reversed the government’s stance in the case, siding with the companies after Democratic former President Barack Obama’s administration had supported a U.S. National Labor Relations Board decision invalidating such employment agreements.

The ruling is the latest in a series of pro-business decisions issued by the conservative-majority Supreme Court in recent years that have curbed class-action claims of various types and endorsed the practice of arbitration to resolve contractual disputes. Companies have said that arbitration is quicker and cheaper than litigation in court.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s appointee to the court, wrote the ruling and was joined by the four other conservative justices. Gorsuch wrote that federal arbitration law does not conflict with the National Labor Relations Act, which outlines the right of workers to act collectively.

“Today’s decision will make it easier for employers to escape liability for widespread discrimination and harassment. No American should be forced to sign away their right to invoke the meaningful protections afforded by our nation’s critical civil rights laws,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a blow to the rights of workers on Monday by allowing companies to require them to sign away their ability to bring class-action claims against management, agreements already in place for about 25 million employees.

The justices, in a 5-4 ruling with the court’s conservatives in the majority, endorsed the legality of the growing practice by companies to compel workers to sign arbitration agreements waiving their right to bring class-action claims on various disputes, primarily over wages and hours.

Growing numbers of employers have demanded that their workers sign waivers, guarding against the rising number of class-action claims brought by workers on wage issues. Class-action litigation can result in large damages awards by juries and is harder for businesses to fight than cases brought by individual plaintiffs.

Republican President Donald Trump’s administration last year reversed the government’s stance in the case, siding with the companies after Democratic former President Barack Obama’s administration had supported a U.S. National Labor Relations Board decision invalidating such employment agreements.

The ruling is the latest in a series of pro-business decisions issued by the conservative-majority Supreme Court in recent years that have curbed class-action claims of various types and endorsed the practice of arbitration to resolve contractual disputes. Companies have said that arbitration is quicker and cheaper than litigation in court.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s appointee to the court, wrote the ruling and was joined by the four other conservative justices. Gorsuch wrote that federal arbitration law does not conflict with the National Labor Relations Act, which outlines the right of workers to act collectively.

“Today’s decision will make it easier for employers to escape liability for widespread discrimination and harassment. No American should be forced to sign away their right to invoke the meaningful protections afforded by our nation’s critical civil rights laws,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.