Earlier this week, Joseph Greenwald & Laake principal attorney Brian Markovitz spoke to Law360 regarding the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis. The 5-4 majority opinion, authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, gives employers the right to require workers to forgo the ability to pursue class actions by including class waivers in arbitration agreements that they must sign as an employment condition.
The Law360 piece outlines 5 key takeaways as a result of this court decision. Markovitz touches on a predicted class waiver explosion with stating the use of arbitration agreements containing class waivers will become more commonplace now, and that management attorneys now “definitely have to put class action bans into everything.”
From the viewpoint of workers advocates, Markovitz says that class action bans function a “license to steal,” because workers will not have the ability to pursue those claims in individual arbitration. Markovitz continues with “What [an employer] can do is take small amounts of money from people, a couple hundred bucks, and then [workers] can’t band together to go after losing these several hundred dollars, and there’s not a lawyer in the world who’s going to take a $300 case to arbitration where they’re probably going to lose.”
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Brian Markovitz is a principal in JGL’s Labor and Employment and Civil Litigation practice groups, and focuses on helping victims who have suffered severe injustices in the workplace. He represents individuals in complex employment litigation and appellate matters involving wrongful termination, retaliation by employers in response to reporting fraud or misconduct and discrimination on the basis on race, gender, age and sexual orientation.