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Managing the Modern Workplace
V&E International Labor & Employment Resources

  • 25
  • April
  • 2019

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The Supreme Court All But Ends Classwide Arbitration, Delivering A Win For Employers

When most employers think about arbitration with their employees, they think about arbitrating the claims of one employee at a time. The U.S. Supreme Court agreed this week in Lamp Plus, Inc., et al. v. Varela, deciding that parties cannot be compelled to arbitrate class actions unless the arbitration agreement explicitly calls for class arbitration (something that virtually no arbitration agreement does).

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  • 26
  • March
  • 2019

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The Consequences of Elections: Are Texas Courts Becoming More Employee Friendly?

Texas is still a long way from becoming California when it comes to employment law, and no one expects the Republican dominated Texas legislature to follow the recent trend of other state legislatures (e.g., New York, Washington, Maryland) in restricting employers from arbitrating claims of sexual harassment. The employment laws that are likely to be passed by the current Texas legislature are laws undermining the rights of Texas municipalities (e.g., Austin) to require sick leave pay.

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Is Brazil Blazing a Trail on Employment Arbitration?

Adding an arbitration provision to an employment contract has been a familiar practice for many HR professionals in the United States. That’s unlikely to change, particularly since the U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld employment arbitration agreements barring class actions, see Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis. But what about the rest of the world? Although arbitration of commercial claims is mainstream on the global stage, that’s not the case when it comes to employment disputes. A recent development in Brazilian law could perhaps start a new trend.

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  • 07
  • June
  • 2018

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All Arbitration, All the Time: Court Agrees to Hear Case on Whether an Arbitration Clause Allows Class Arbitration When the Clause Is Silent on It

As we discussed in a previous post, the Supreme Court recently ruled that employers may enforce class-waiver arbitration clauses in employment agreements and require an employee to arbitrate his claims in individual, as opposed to collective, arbitration proceedings. Hot on the heels of this recent important decision, the Court agreed to hear a case from the Ninth Circuit which addresses a related issue: whether arbitration clauses that are silent about class arbitration can nevertheless be interpreted to permit class arbitration. This may not seem consequential since many companies moving forward will opt to use class action waivers in employment agreements following the Supreme Court’s recent decision, but standard arbitration clauses are often silent on class arbitration, and many of these clauses may remain in effect for years to come. As such, the Supreme Court’s decision on this issue could have substantial implications for employers that use standard arbitration clauses in employment agreements. 

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Contributors

Thomas H. Wilson

Thomas H. Wilson Partner

Christopher V. Bacon

Christopher V. Bacon Counsel

Sean Becker

Sean Becker Partner

Stephen M. Jacobson

Stephen M. Jacobson Partner

Martin C. Luff

Martin Luff Counsel

Lawrence S. Elbaum Partner

S. Grace Ho

S. Grace Ho Counsel