Back in 2011, I wondered aloud: Might the impact of new arbitration decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court bring about the end to big wage & hour class actions?
At the time, I said it would be premature.
Seven years later – what’s changed?
Well, as it turns out, wage & hour class actions are not dead. Indeed, based on some statistics, they’re as costly as ever.
Earlier this year, the Workplace Class Action Litigation report noted that just the top ten class action settlements totalled over $2.72 billion in 2017. I’d say the class action is still very much alive and well.
Yet there are still signs on the horizon that employers may be able to fight back a bit on these claims.
Late last month, the Ninth Circuit shot down a potential class action against Uber, on the grounds that the arbitration provision barred class actions.
It’s a significant victory for the company and highlights a way for companies to push back against the threat of class actions.
But the company may still have another obstacle. According to The Verge, counsel for the Uber drivers, are encouraging the drivers to seek arbitration on an individual basis. Indeed, it is seeking thousands of them. Consider it the “death by a thousand paper cuts” approach. Will it work?
Stay tuned. In the meantime, companies ought to still consider arbitration provisions with class action waivers as I noted earlier this year.