In a close 5-4 decision today, in Epic Systems Corp. et al. v. Jacob Lewis et al., 584 U.S. _ (2018), the U.S. Supreme Court upheld employer arbitration agreements requiring applicants and employees to waive their rights to bring or join a class action or collective action (wage and hour class) against the employer.      
Such class action waivers were under attack by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which declared that class waivers violated employees' Section 7 rights to collectively engage in concerted activity regarding the terms and conditions of employment. 
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled: "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."
Newly appointed Justice Gorsuch also wrote the Court must abide by "a congressional command requiring us to enforce, not override, the terms of the arbitration agreements before us."
What does this mean for you? Every employer should now consider whether to implement a mandatory arbitration program containing a class action waiver to be signed by all applicants and employees. 
Mandatory arbitration provisions and class waivers must be drafted carefully to comply with the law without overstepping or requiring employees to give up substantive legal rights.  If you have questions, we're here to help.
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