As followers of our blog know, we have been closely watching developments over the past few years involving the tension between the National Labor Relations Board and the courts concerning whether arbitration agreements that require employees to resolve most employment-related disputes in individual arbitration proceedings, and bar the use of class or collective action litigation procedures in court, violate the rights guaranteed under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act. See our prior posts here, here, and here, which discuss the split in circuits that emerged on this issue, with the Second, Fifth, and Eighth Circuits holding that class and collective action waivers in arbitration agreements are valid and enforceable, and the Seventh and Ninth Circuits concluding the opposite.
On January 13, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear three cases which each involve this issue. Hopefully, this means that by the end of the Court’s term in late June or early July 2017, we will have a definitive answer, and employers and employees alike will know, once and for all, whether this arrangement is lawful. As before, we’ll continue to update with further developments.