NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kathleen Miller, President of the National Academy of Arbitrators, issued this statement today on behalf of its Board of Governors, regarding the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis.
“The Academy is disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision in Epic Systems. The Court’s decision to favor individual over group arbitration of employees’ workplace claims will affect employers, employees and the arbitration process. Class grievances are common in labor arbitration and are an efficient way for employers and employees to handle groups of similar claims. They may also be the only viable way for employees to assert claims with small dollar amounts, where the cost of individual arbitration would outweigh the value of the employee’s claim. The National Academy of Arbitrators is devoted to providing due process in labor-management and employment disputes and is concerned that as a result of this decision, many parties will have no realistic access to arbitration.”
The National Academy of Arbitrators had filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing that compulsory class waivers that prohibit employees from joining together to assert employment claims should not be enforceable. The brief maintained that arbitrators have the skills and experience — and a long history — of successfully resolving group claims in arbitration, to the satisfaction of employees and employers. This decision is likely to cause employers and employees to lose an important tool for resolving disputes over employee claims.
The Court’s decision also may diminish the scope of collective worker rights that are protected under federal labor law. As President Miller summarized, “unfortunately, the Court’s decision charts a wrong turn in national labor policy, one that has the potential to extinguish the rights of many workers.”
About the National Academy of Arbitrators:
The National Academy of Arbitrators (NAA), www.naarb.org, is a professional and honorary organization of more than 600 labor and employment arbitrators from the United States and Canada. Founded in 1947, the NAA fosters the highest standards of integrity, competence, honor, and character among those engaged in the resolution of labor-management and other workplace disputes.