The National Labour Relations Board recently issued a decision that expands the Supreme Court's decision in Epic Systems Corp v Lewis and further authorises employers to limit employees' ability to file or opt in to a class or collective action against their employer. In light of the decision, employers may not only require employees to enter an arbitration agreement that requires one-on-one arbitration, but also impose such an agreement after, and in response to, employees filing or opting in to a class or collective action.
For US employers with 100 or more employees, extensive new information relating to their prior Equal Employment Opportunity-1 filings must soon be submitted. Specifically, in addition to categorising employees by race or ethnicity, gender and job type, employers must now assemble and submit aggregated employee data regarding compensation and annualised hours worked. Assembling the required data may be much more complicated than many employers are expecting, so it is important to begin planning now.
This article reviews the impact of the #MeToo movement, and other corporate culture concerns, on employers and its connection with the Supreme Court's decision in Epic Systems. There is concern that the court's decision will, in many cases, deprive women and men who have been victims of sexual assault or harassment in the workplace of their right to bring collective or class actions, as Epic Systems has forced employees to bring their claims through one-on-one arbitration.
As employers doing business in California know, California's employment regulatory scheme is the most comprehensive of any US state. In particular, the California Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) allows employees to sue employers for civil penalties on behalf of themselves and other employees. Most significantly, PAGA provides for the reimbursement of attorneys' fees to employees who successfully bring suit. However, Epic Systems may mean a change in favour of standalone PAGA cases.
One year after the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Epic Systems – which paved the way for employers to force employees to waive their right to bring class actions – this article revisits the court's decision and the pros and cons of mandatory arbitration programmes with class action waivers.