The Supreme Court ruled on April 24, 2019 that an arbitration agreement which is ambiguous as to whether the parties had agreed to class arbitration was insufficient to require a party to participate in class arbitration.

In the 2011 case Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. Animal Feeds Int’l Corp., 559 U.S. 662 (2011) the Supreme Court decided that “silence” in an arbitration agreement regarding the issue of class arbitration meant that a party could not be compelled to engage in class arbitration.  In the more recent case of Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, an employee had sought to compel his employer to arbitrate on a class basis claims arising out of the release of personal data belonging to its employees.


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I authored an article for Modern Restaurant Management magazine outlining the Supreme Court’s recent decision impacting the future of class action waivers in arbitration agreements. In May 2018 the Supreme Court issued a decision in three consolidate cases NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA Inc.Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris ruling that “an employer may require an employee, as a condition of employment, to enter into an arbitration agreement in which the employee agrees to waive the right to bring a class or collective action.”

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