Federal Arbitration Act

Toothless Rights: How Forced Arbitration and Class Action Waivers Undermine Civil Rights at Work

Toothless Rights:  How Forced Arbitration and Class Action Waivers Undermine Civil Rights at Work

Class and collective action empowers those that share the same experiences and injuries to stand together and assert their rights as a group, and they are critical to achieving widespread, systemic change. Class action waivers in mandatory arbitration agreements can erase all of these benefits, requiring employees to pursue their claims through individual arbitration. 

But a series of Supreme Court decisions since the early 1980’s has largely sanctioned and accelerated the propagation of forced arbitration, including agreements that prohibit class litigation.

Epic Systems And The Erosion Of Federal Class Actions

Epic Systems And The Erosion Of Federal Class Actions

Epic Systems expanded Concepcion, concluding that federal labor law does not block arbitration class waivers, rendering them permissible in the employment context, too. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted that this additional barrier will lead to the under-enforcement of employment law stemming from this restriction on collective power, as has already happened in the consumer context.