On May 21, the Supreme Court made a decision that will affect how employees in Wisconsin and elsewhere can file claims against their employers over wage and hour disputes. This decision is one that will change employment litigation, but is this change good or bad? There are people on both sides of the aisle on this one.
Employees have long been able to come together to file class action claims against employers over wage and hour disputes. Many believe that filing claims in this way has proved beneficial to employees, allowing them a better chance to get what they want in the end. More companies are utilizing arbitration agreements in employment contracts to help prevent such class action claims. The Supreme Court just issued a ruling, stating that such arbitration agreements are, in fact, enforceable.
Arbitration can be a good thing. It can keep certain issues out of court. This means disputes may be settled faster, and this dispute resolution method generally costs less than taking a case to trial. There are benefits, but should arbitration be enforced on employees? Should someone have to give up his or her right to sue in court simply because he or she takes a job?
This ruling may change employment litigation in some ways, but it does not mean that Wisconsin residents who wish to pursue individual claims against employers cannot do so. Those who believe that they have legitimate claims against their employers may turn to legal counsel for assistance. Depending on the facts of the case, a resolution may be sought through arbitration or litigation.
Source: thehill.com, "Supreme Court upholds agreements that prevent employee class-action suits", Lydia Wheeler, May 21, 2018