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In any organization, disputes arise that require resolution through formal proceedings such as lawsuits. But more and more companies use employment arbitration agreements to avoid costly litigation and the seemingly random results often associated with it. The expanding use of arbitration is a result of exploding wage and hour class and collective actions as employers search for better ways to address these massive, expensive, and disruptive cases more effectively. Empowering this trend, the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently upheld employment arbitration agreements as enforceable.
A survey by Bloomberg in 2021 reported that the number of employment disputes in arbitration rose by almost 66% from 2018 to 2020. An employee rights advocacy group estimates that 80% of Fortune 100 companies have used employment arbitration agreements since 2010. Littler’s Arbitration Practice Group continues to see strong use of arbitration by its clients of all sizes with positive results.
Despite several rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court upholding class and collective action waivers in arbitration agreements, and most recently a decision allowing for individual arbitration of claims under California’s Private Attorneys’ General Act, arbitral class waivers and arbitration agreements on the whole continue to face attacks from plaintiffs’ attorneys, unions, states, federal governmental agencies, and special interest groups.
Littler’s Arbitration Practice Group works with hundreds of clients to design, implement, roll out, and enforce arbitration agreements. Our team of national practice group attorneys have extensive experience enforcing agreements in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Our team works with clients to efficiently address numerous arbitration issues, including electronic signatures, pending litigation, unions, intersection with restrictive covenant agreements, joint employment issues, third-party beneficiaries, and foreign language issues. We work with clients to provide a tailored arbitration agreement that meets the individual needs of each client – from small local businesses to international Fortune 100 corporations.
In an attempt to undermine the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings allowing for enforcement of class and collective action waivers, plaintiffs’ counsel have accelerated the threat and use of mass arbitration demands. Specifically, plaintiffs’ counsel have filed numerous arbitration demands (sometimes thousands) with arbitration organizations seeking to force employers to pay significant arbitration fees.
Our attorneys constantly assess the threat of mass arbitrations and evolving legal precedent. And we work with clients to draft arbitration agreements to mitigate against these tactics. Our litigators have the experience and resources to represent businesses in mass arbitrations nationally. Littler’s footprint means that no matter where the challenge is, we can assemble the right team. Clients may also access our award-winning, tech-based solutions—including Littler CaseSmart—to handle mass arbitrations.