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The U.S. Supreme Court issued a significant decision for employers on May 21, 2018. In Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis, the Court held employee arbitration agreements may lawfully prohibit group or class action arbitration claims brought by multiple employees. This holding is important because, as the Court noted, group or class actions can unfairly pressure employers to settle weak claims. Although Epic involves a Fair Labor Standards Act claim, the case will likely be extended to cover other types of employment claims.
In sum, many employers see potential benefits in pre-dispute employment arbitration agreements, such as jury avoidance, shorter claim limitation periods, expedited process and lower costs. Epic Systems has added another valuable protection for employers to consider – written waivers of group or class action claims.