Monthly Newsletter

EMPLOYMENT AND LABOR NEWS
Mickey Busca, Editor

Workplace Arbitrations

October, 2017

Workplace Arbitration Among America’s Top 100 Companies

A September 27, 2017 report by Professor Imre S. Szalai, Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, for the Employee Rights Advocacy Institute for Law & Policy sheds new light on the widespread use of arbitration to resolve employment disputes at the workplaces of the top 100 largest domestic United States companies, as ranked by Fortune magazine.

The research was undertaken to identify: 1) How many of these companies have utilized arbitration to resolve workplace disputes since 2010; and 2) Of those companies, how many use arbitration clauses that require workers also to waive their right to proceed collectively or as part of a class ( a “class waiver”).

The methodology was based on publicly-available data on the top 100 companies, as listed by Fortune, as well as the companies’ subsidiaries and related, affiliated entities.  The report states that it is difficult to assess with certainty the raw number of workers bound by arbitration clauses at each company.  Also, the extent of each company’s use of arbitration in its own workplace was not readily ascertainable.

In addition, the study did not distinguish between executives and non-executives.

The key findings of this study:

  1. Eighty percent (80%) of the companies in the Fortune 100, including subsidiaries or related affilates, have used arbitration agreements in connection with workplace-related disputes since 2010.

2.  Of the 80 companies with arbitration agreements in the                           workplace, 39 have used arbitration clauses containing class waivers.

 

It is important to note that the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear three cases this term challenging the use of class waivers:  National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil USA, Ernst & Young v. Morris, and Epic Systems Corporation v. Lewis.

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