What the Supreme Court’s “Epic” Decision Means for Employers

Employment Law Commentary, Volume 30, Issue 5

May 2018

On May 21, the United States Supreme Court issued its ruling in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, holding that waivers of class and collective actions in arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The Supreme Court’s decision resolves a circuit split that has been brewing for several years on whether such waivers contained in predispute employment arbitration agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by preventing employees from acting in concert to pursue claims against their employers. Although the majority 5-4 decision confirms that these waivers are now enforceable, employers must still review their arbitration agreements and programs to avoid contractual challenges and be mindful that not all class claims will be covered. Employers who do not currently use predispute arbitration agreements should consider whether it makes sense for them to adopt such agreements in light of this ruling.

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