Divided Supreme Court Rules for Businesses Over Workers - NBC New York
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Divided Supreme Court Rules for Businesses Over Workers

The result could prompt a new round of lawsuits aimed at limiting class or collective action to raise allegations of racial discrimination

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Divided Supreme Court Rules for Businesses Over Workers
    J. Scott Applewhite/AP, File
    A file photo of the Supreme Court Building in Washington.

    What to Know

    • A divided court ruled that businesses can force employees to individually use arbitration, not the courts, to resolve disputes

    • The outcome affects an estimated 25 million employees work under contracts that prohibit collective action by employees

    • The Trump administration backed the businesses, reversing the position the Obama administration took in favor of employees

    The Supreme Court says employers can prohibit their workers from banding together to dispute their pay and conditions in the workplace, an important victory for business interests.

    The justices ruled 5-4 Monday, with the court's conservative members in the majority, that businesses can force employees to individually use arbitration, not the courts, to resolve disputes.

    The outcome does not affect people represented by labor unions, but an estimated 25 million employees work under contracts that prohibit collective action by employees who want to raise claims about some aspect of their employment.

    The result could prompt a new round of lawsuits aimed at limiting class or collective action to raise allegations of racial discrimination.

    Honda Odyssey Tops Minivan Crash Test List

    [NATL] Honda Odyssey Tops Minivan Crash Test List

    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released new crash ratings for minivans.

    (Published 4 hours ago)

    The Trump administration backed the businesses, reversing the position the Obama administration took in favor of employees.

    The court's task was to reconcile federal laws that seemed to point in different directions. On the one hand, New Deal labor laws explicitly gave workers the right to band together. On the other, the older Federal Arbitration Act encourages the use of arbitration, instead of the courts.

    Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority, said the contracts are valid under the arbitration law. "As a matter of policy these questions are surely debatable. But as a matter of law the answer is clear," Gorsuch wrote.

    In dissent for the court's liberals, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called the decision "egregiously wrong" and likely to lead to "huge underenforcement of federal and state stautes designed to advance the well-being of vulnerable workers." Ginsburg said that the individual complaints can be very small in dollar terms, "scarcely of a size warranting the expense of seeking redress alone." Ginsburg read a summary of her dissent aloud.

    The National Labor Relations Board, breaking with the administration, argued that contracts requiring employees to waive their right to collective action conflict with the labor laws. Business interests were united in favor of the contracts.

    Lower courts had split over the issue. The high court considered three cases — two in which appeals courts ruled that such agreements can't be enforced and a third in which the appeals court said they are valid.

    WH: Cannot Guarantee Trump Didn't Use N-Word

    [NATL] WH Defends Trump's 'Dog' Comment, Says They Cannot Guarantee Trump Didn't Use N-Word

    The White House defended President Donald Trump calling former protégée Omarosa Manigault-Newman a "dog" in a Tuesday press conference. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also could not guarantee that Trump has never used the N-word on record, but doubled down in his defense. 

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018)

    The Supreme Court says employers can prohibit their workers from banding together to dispute their pay and conditions in the workplace, an important victory for business interests.

    The justices ruled 5-4 Monday, with the court's conservative members in the majority, that businesses can force employees to individually use arbitration, not the courts, to resolve disputes.

    The outcome does not affect people represented by labor unions, but an estimated 25 million employees work under contracts that prohibit collective action by employees who want to raise claims about some aspect of their employment.

    The result could prompt a new round of lawsuits aimed at limiting class or collective action to raise allegations of racial discrimination.

    The Trump administration backed the businesses, reversing the position the Obama administration took in favor of employees.

    The court's task was to reconcile federal laws that seemed to point in different directions. On the one hand, New Deal labor laws explicitly gave workers the right to band together. On the other, the older Federal Arbitration Act encourages the use of arbitration, instead of the courts.

    Bridge Collapses Over Italian City, Killing More Than 20

    [NATL] Bridge Collapses Over Italian City, Killing More Than 20

    A bridge over the Italian city of Genoa collapsed during a sudden, violent storm, opening up a huge gulf in the Morandi Bridge and killing at least 20 people.

    (Published Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018)

    Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority, said the contracts are valid under the arbitration law. "As a matter of policy these questions are surely debatable. But as a matter of law the answer is clear," Gorsuch wrote.

    In dissent for the court's liberals, Justice Ruth Bader called the decision "egregiously wrong" and likely to lead to "huge underenforcement of federal and state stautes designed to advance the well-being of vulnerable workers." Ginsburg said that the individual complaints can be very small in dollar terms, "scarcely of a size warranting the expense of seeking redress alone." Ginsburg read a summary of her dissent aloud.

    The National Labor Relations Board, breaking with the administration, argued that contracts requiring employees to waive their right to collective action conflict with the labor laws. Business interests were united in favor of the contracts.

    Lower courts had split over the issue. The high court considered three cases — two in which appeals courts ruled that such agreements can't be enforced and a third in which the appeals court said they are valid.