The U.S. Supreme Court will consider the legality of so-called class-action waivers, which employees have increasingly been forced to sign in recent years and which require them to arbitrate workplace disputes individually. Many companies say that resolving issues like unpaid wages through arbitration with individual employees is a fast and cost-effective alternative to class action litigation that can result in large damages awards by juries and is harder for businesses to fight than cases brought by individual plaintiffs. However, workers contest that the cost of pursuing their cases individually in arbitration is prohibitively expensive. One of the lower court rulings that the Supreme Court will consider came from the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which upheld Murphy Oil USA Inc.’s waiver in the face of a challenge by the National Labor Relations Board.
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