On January 30, 2018, Columbia University ("Columbia") announced in a campus-wide letter that it will not bargain with the representatives of graduate student assistants ("GSAs") that won a union election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") and will instead challenge the NLRB's ruling that deemed the GSAs employees in a federal appeals court.
The Supreme Court began its fall 2017 term with three consolidated cases concerning Epic Systems Corp., Ernst & Young, and Murphy Oil USA Inc. (collectively, "the Companies"). The Companies require pre-employment agreements forcing employees to waive their right to pursue class action relief. Several justices are questioning the legality of this practice, worried that it contradicts the spirit of federal labor law.
On Friday, September 8, 2017, National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB" or the "Board") Administrative Law Judge Eleanor Laws ruled that SolarCity Corp. ("SolarCity") maintained arbitration agreements with its employees which were illegal due to the fact that they could be read by workers as restricting their rights to file unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB.
In a previous post, we discussed arbitration clauses that prevent consumers from joining in a class action lawsuit. This post will focus on arbitration agreements that prevent employees from joining in a class action against their employer.
In September 2015, pharmacists at Target Corp. ("Target") voted to unionize in a 7-2 vote, making them members of Target's first-ever union. Target contested the vote, claiming it cut ties with workers through a $1.9 billion acquisition deal with CVS Health Corp. ("CVS"). Target argued that once the deal with CVS closes, its pharmacists and other employees will no longer be employed by Target.