The Practical Lawyer published an article in its February 2013 issue by Birmingham-based partner Bryance Metheny. Titled "Class Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements."
The piece warns against employers' potential risks stemming from inconsistent rulings on class waivers in arbitration agreements. The Supreme Court's decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion serves as the basis for Metheny's article and concludes that class relief provisions in arbitration agreements are "inappropriate." However, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) finds that class waivers violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). While most court cases have favored the Concepcion ruling, employers must work with their legal counsel to weigh whether and how to include class waivers in employee handbooks and arbitration agreements. Metheny warns that there is "a lot to gain from crafting an agreement correctly, and a lot to lose if it is wrong."
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