North Carolina state government joined several other states last week in throwing its weight behind an important effort to defend basic protections for working people.
The right of workers to join together to enforce workplace laws is the cornerstone of national labor policy. Federal law gives employees the right to engage in “concerted” – or group – activities for their “mutual aid or protection” and prohibits employers from interfering with this right. Unfortunately, this cornerstone is under attack.
There is a growing trend among employers of requiring employees to waive this right by forcing them to agree to arbitrate any workplace disputes as a condition of employment. These mandatory arbitration clauses bar employees from bringing their wage and hour, discrimination, and other employment claims as class or collective actions or from obtaining relief on behalf of a group of workers. Instead, employees must pursue their claims in closed-door individual arbitrations—an expensive process that has been shown to favor corporations over individuals. In a trio of cases which have been consolidated together, the U.S. Supreme Court is going to weigh in on whether this practice is legal. Read more