Supreme Court v Labor Rights

Yesterday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis―siding with businesses and the Trump administration over working people―deals a significant blow to workers’ fundamental right to join together to address workplace disputes.

In its decision, the Court majority has affirmed that employers may force working people to sign away their right to join together and act collectively to seek justice when disputes arise in the workplace.

Whether it’s fair pay, discrimination, or sexual harassment, workers rely on their ability to join together―whether informally or in formal litigation―to remedy violations of workplace protections. The National Labor Relations Act has long guaranteed working people the right to join together to improve their wages and working conditions. Congress must act to restore this fundamental right by banning forced arbitration agreements and class and collective action waivers.

Sign the petition demanding Congress act immediately to protect the rights of over 60 million U.S. workers who are being forced to sign away their rights to seek justice in the courts.

EPI research shows that between 1994 and today, the share of nonunion, private-sector employers who require their workers to sign forced arbitration agreements has increased from just 8 percent to 54 percent! That means that now, more than half of U.S. workers whose legal rights are violated by their employer are not able to pursue a claim in court. Further, research shows that 23.1 percent of private-sector nonunion employees, or 24.7 million American workers, no longer have the right to bring a class action claim if their employment rights have been violated. With yesterday’s ruling, that number will go even higher.  
This flies in the face of over 80 years of established law ensured by the National Labor Relations Act, which has guaranteed workers’ rights to stand together for “mutual aid and protection” when seeking to improve their wages and working conditions.

Demand immediate action by Congress to protect the rights of working people to seek justice in the court.

At a time of eroding protections for working people, EPI is fighting for the right to a safe workplace free of harassment or discrimination based on race, gender, or religion, and we’re working to strengthen laws protecting employment rights including minimum wage and the right to equal pay.

Thank you for all that you do on behalf of all working people.

Sincerely,

Celine McNicholas
Director of Labor Law and Policy, Economic Policy Institute

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