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Supreme Court hears arguments on employee class action suits

The United States Supreme Court just began its nine month session and chose as one of its first cases a matter that involves the ability of employees to file class action lawsuits against their employers. New York employers may have a vested interest in how this matter plays out, as it could impact the rights their workers have to sue them in a collective manner.

The dispute surrounds the ability of employers to require their employees to sign arbitration clauses in their employment agreements. Under an arbitration clause, an employer may require an employee to handle an employment-related dispute individually rather than suing the company under a class action. Class action lawsuits can be expensive for employers, and the justices on the court appear split as to how they believe the law should address this employment matter.

Generally, employers and their employees may negotiate agreements that reflect the desires and interests of both parties and, once signed, those agreements are binding with regard to their relationships. This matter may limit what employers may put into their employment contracts, though, some justices on the court may support the rights of employers to include arbitration clauses in their employment agreements.

Decisions of the Supreme Court impact Americans at every level. The matter currently before the court could change the power of employers to protect themselves from massive class action lawsuits initiated by the very workers they hired into their organizations. Readers of this blog will have to wait and see what the Supreme Court decides on this important employment-related matter.

Source:, "US Supreme Court divided over key employment dispute," Oct. 2, 2017

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