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Supreme Court Decision on Employment Rights

Published:  May 23, 2018

The United States Supreme Court ruled on the case Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis this past Monday. The case involved the employee rights of millions of employees working in the private sector. The Supreme Court voted 5-4 on the case, which will narrow protections of employee rights. This is a significant blow to workers; this ruling enforces that, for the first time ever, workers are not allowed to band together to challenge any violations of federal labor laws such as wage and hour violations. 

As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated after the decision was made, workers' claims are most often relatively small, and many workers fear retaliation for their claims. Justice Ginsburg warned that there will be huge under-enforcement of federal and state laws that were designed to support the health and well-being of the more vulnerable workers.

The Court's ruling came on Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis (which was actually three cases rolled into one), which will potentially involve tens of thousands of non-union employees. Each case required that each individual employee must waive their rights to join any class-action lawsuit; in all three cases, the employees tried to sue together.

As a result of this ruling, it is likely that more problems will arise in regards to discrimination based on race, gender, and religion; employees will be barred from suing collectively as a unit over the terms of their employment.

It is now up to Congress as to if they want to affirm or reverse the Court's decision.

If you have any questions about this ruling, or about any labor or employment law matters, please contact the attorneys at Royal, P.C.