Sixth Circuit Ties Up Circuit Split on Class Action Waivers in Employment Agreement
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) sought enforcement of its Decision and Order that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by barring employees from pursuing class-action litigation or collective arbitration of work-related claims, and by forbidding an employee from discussing a proposed compensation change with coworkers and terminating him when he did so. In considering the employer’s action on appeal, the court held as a matter of first impression for the Circuit the employer's concerted action waiver violated the NLRA, nor was it enforceable under Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The evidence also supported a determination that the employer violated the NLRA by forbidding its employee from discussing compensation with coworkers, and for firing him for doing so. The court ruled the FAA and the NLRA must work in harmony. This split is set to be resolved through three cases already taken by the U.S. Supreme Court.