Employment lawsuits have been on the rise for the last several years, with complaints ranging from sexual harassment to wage-and-hour disputes. Some of these cases have involved massive settlement agreements. It’s likely this trend will continue, though the success could be curbed if the new U.S. Supreme Court justice swings the court toward decisions that tend to favor arbitration agreements and the prohibition of class action employment lawsuits.
As The Associated Press recently reported, the SCOTUS recently accepted review of three cases that center on the viability of arbitration agreements in workplace disputes. Such agreements require workers to use a private arbitrator to resolve grievances, rather than avail themselves of the courts.
The question is whether this deprives workers of due process. Private arbitrators tend to come down on the side of the business, and even those cases decided in favor of the worker tend to result in modest awards in comparison to what they might receive if they had prevailed in court. Plus, arbitrators don’t have to follow the law and proceedings aren’t public, which can strip the employer of any real incentive to change the underlying offensive action in the future. Continue Reading ›