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Employment Contracts After Epic SCOTUS Decision: Arbitration Agreements and Class Waivers

An encore presentation

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will discuss the recent Supreme Court decision in Epic Systems Corp v. Lewis and its impact on employment contracts, class waivers, and arbitration agreements for employers and employees.


The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled in 2012 that agreements requiring only individual arbitration—that is, barring class or collective arbitration—violated the NLRA and were an unfair labor practice. Since then, the NLRB has steadfastly held that employers commit unfair labor practices by requiring their employees to sign arbitration agreements that include class action or collective action waivers. Appellate courts were divided over whether to uphold the NLRB’s conclusions and whether to enforce such provisions.

The U.S. Supreme Court accepted and consolidated three cases for review; Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis from the Seventh Circuit was the lead case. The Court held employers may include class action and collective action waivers in mandatory arbitration agreements with their employees, and that such agreements do not violate the NLRA.

As a result of this ruling, it is recommended that attorneys representing businesses take a new look at arbitration agreements and consider 1) modifying existing agreements to include mandatory class action waivers, or 2) designing and implementing arbitration agreements with such waivers for use going forward. Although these mandatory arbitration agreements were standard before the ruling, experts project these agreements will become the norm.

Listen as our expert panel discusses the recent Supreme Court decision, what employers can do to ensure their arbitration programs are enforceable, and new strategies employers can expect to see from plaintiffs’ attorneys in light of the anticipated increase in class action waivers.



  1. Overview of Epic ruling and impact on employment contracts
  2. Strategies for employers in drafting enforceable arbitration agreements and class waivers
  3. Discussion of pending or recently enacted legislation designed to limit the use of arbitration, including a recent bill introduced in Congress to amend the FAA
  4. Tactics to expect from plaintiffs’ attorneys in light of the increasing use of class action waivers


The panel will review these and other relevant topics:

  • What exactly does the Epic ruling allow regarding mandatory arbitration agreements and class waivers in employment contracts?
  • What should employers be doing to ensure their arbitration programs are enforceable?
  • What is on the horizon for proposed or recent legislation that may affect the Epic decision?
  • What new strategies should employers expect to see from plaintiffs’ attorneys in light of the potential increasing use of class and collective action waivers?

This is an encore presentation.


Lesser, Seth
Seth R. Lesser

Founding Partner
Klafter Olsen & Lesser

Mr. Lesser practices in the areas of consumer advocacy, wage and hour litigation, and corporate governance, primarily...  |  Read More

Massiatte, Michael
Michael W. Massiatte

Of Counsel
DLA Piper

Mr. Massiatte focuses his practice on labor and employment matters, including employee relations, employee benefits,...  |  Read More

Murray, Christopher
Christopher C. Murray

Shareholder, Chair Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group
Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart

Mr. Murray assists attorneys throughout the firm and clients nationwide to create, roll out, and enforce effective...  |  Read More

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