Since 1997, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has had a policy against employers using mandatory arbitration clauses and agreements in employment contracts. It was the position of the EEOC that requiring employees to arbitrate any disputes with their employers would not be in the public interest if it bypassed the agency's enforcement of discrimination and harassment claims.
In May, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis that individual arbitration clauses in employment contracts are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act. Therefore, employers can require, as a condition of employment, employees to agree to resolve their employment law claims individually in arbitration rather than taking them to court or attempting to act collectively.
Now that Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in, there is a full slate of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. Their new term began Oct. 1, and the court jumped right in to hear oral arguments about an age discrimination case.
Several weeks ago in this Greenbelt Employment Law Blog, we discussed a class action wage theft lawsuit that had been filed by exotic dancers in West Virginia who accused their employer of illegally taking a portion of their tips. This case has now been complicated as the employer, a club, has asked a judge to dismiss the case due to stipulations in the employment contract that the dancers signed.