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A New 'Epic' Measure in Congress Aims to End Arbitration of Employment Claims

Posted:

On June 11, 2024, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S. Representatives Robert C. Scott (D-VA-03) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-12) reintroduced the Restoring Justice for Workers Act.

United States Capitol Building
United States Capitol Building

According to a press release on her website, Senator Murray claims the bill is "legislation to end forced arbitration clauses and protect workers' ability to pursue work-related claims in court."

If successful, the measure would undo the 2018 Supreme Court decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, where the Court concluded that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) does not override an agreement between a company and its worker to arbitrate employment-related claims on an individual, non-class basis.

Additionally, the bill would:

  • Open the courthouse doors for workers by prohibiting the use of forced arbitration clauses in employment contracts and prohibiting employers from requiring employees to waive their right to engage in joint, class, or collective legal action;
  • Uphold the rule of law, a cornerstone of our democracy, by ensuring that workers’ rights are enforceable through our justice system;
  • Ensure that post dispute arbitration agreements are not obtained by threat or coercion, that the agreement is understandable, and that the employee affirmatively consents to the agreement in writing and is fully aware of their rights in the workplace.

The Restoring Justice for Workers Act was first introduced in 2019 and made it as far as Committee. It suffered the same fate when reintroduced in 2021. This go-round has support from 17 Senate co-sponsors (all Democrats).

Posted In: Congressional Activity; National Labor Relations Act (NLRA); U.S. Supreme Court

Want to know more? Read the full article by at The Employer Handbook

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