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Supreme Court Issues Decision in NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA

Washington, DC—Earlier today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, No. 16-285; Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, No. 16-300; and NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA, Inc., No. 16-307 (May 21, 2018).  The National Labor Relations Board respects the Court’s decision, which clearly establishes that arbitration agreements providing for individualized proceedings, and waiving the right to participate in class or collective actions, are lawful and enforceable. 

The Board currently has 55 pending cases with allegations that employers violated the National Labor Relations Act (“the Act”) by maintaining or enforcing individual arbitration agreements or policies containing class- and collective-action waivers. The Board is committed to expeditiously resolving these cases in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision. Many other similar cases previously issued by the Board are pending before the federal courts of appeals.  

The Board first held that the maintenance of individual arbitration agreements containing class-action waivers violated the Act in 2012.  During the six years that this rule was in place, Board decisions invalidated arbitration agreements and policies used by many employers.  With today’s decision by the Supreme Court, employers are permitted to maintain and enforce such class-action waiver agreements.

Established in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects employers and employees from unfair labor practices, and protects the right of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve wages, benefits and working conditions. The NLRB conducts hundreds of workplace elections and investigates thousands of unfair labor practice charges each year.

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