Supreme Court Deals Blow To Workers’ Rights

By on May 22, 2018

May 22, 2018

In a five to four decision, with Trump appointee Neil Gorsuch tipping the balance, the Supreme Court ruled that employers can prohibit their workers from banding together to complain about pay and conditions in the workplace. The Trump administration advocated on behalf of businesses, reversing the position the Obama administration took in favor of employees. The decision affects about 25 million employees who don’t belong to unions. The justices, with Gorsuch writing the majority opinion, held that individual employees can be forced to use arbitration, not the courts, to air complaints about wages and overtime. Four dissenting liberal justices said the decision will hit low-wage, vulnerable workers especially hard. The decision involved pay, but it may extend to workplace discrimination including sexual harassment, and racial bias if employee contracts specify arbitration. Lower courts had split over the issue. The high court considered two cases in which appeals courts ruled that such agreements can’t be enforced, and a third in which an appeals court said they are valid.
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Chicago Tribune

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