Labor and Employment Practice Group Deputy Leader Lauren Novak was quoted on current U.S. Supreme Court cases that may decide whether workers can bring disputes against their employers in a court of law or must follow contracted arbitration agreements.
Arbitration proceedings are often favored by employers because they can be more efficient and save money, and more than half of nonunion private-sector employers now use mandatory arbitration procedures.
Lauren said, "The major driving force behind arbitration agreements is an effort to reduce the cost of litigation, and particularly with class actions.”
In Lamps Plus Inc. v. Varela, the Court will hear from Frank Varela, who says he is entitled to bring a class-action arbitration case against his employer, Lamps Plus, because his arbitration agreement does not expressly forbid it.
Lauren said this case is “critical” for business because, if the court rules in favor of Varela, employers would be "likely to lose the economic benefit of the arbitration that they've contracted for."
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