Epic Sys. Corp. v. Lewis, 584 U.S. ___, 138 S. Ct. 1612 (2018)

The United States Supreme Court ruled that employers may require their employees to arbitrate disputes with the employer individually and waive their right to pursue or participate in a class or collective action against the employer. In a 5-4 ruling in favor of an employer’s right to include class action waivers in an arbitration agreement (majority opinion by Gorsuch, J.), the Court rejected the National Labor Relations Board’s position in D.R. Horton that such class waivers violate employees’ rights to take collective steps for their “mutual aid and protection.” The decision puts to rest the NLRA-based objection to such agreements, and so is a significant victory for employers. Four years ago, the California Supreme Court similarly ruled that such class action waivers are enforceable. Iskanian v. CLS Transp. Los Angeles, LLC, 59 Cal. 4th 348 (2014). However, the Iskanian court also held that advance waivers of claims arising under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) are unenforceable.