Structuring Employment Arbitration Agreements and Class Action Waivers After American Express and Oxford Health

Long-awaited Supreme Court ruling issued June 2013

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, August 15, 2013

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will discuss the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decisions on the enforceability of class action waivers in arbitration agreements and their interplay with the 2012 National Labor Relations Board decision that class action waivers in employment agreements are unlawful under the NLRA.


On June 20, 2013, the Supreme Court issued two key decisions on the enforceability of class action waivers in arbitration agreements. American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant upheld an agreement barring class actions, even if it is financially prohibitive to litigate the cases individually.

The American Express case came out less than two weeks after Oxford Health Plans L.L.C. v. Sutter, which confirmed that parties to an arbitration agreement may be required to participate in class arbitration unless explicitly stated in the arbitration agreement that class arbitration is prohibited.

A key question lingers for employment counsel representing union employers after the NLRB's ruling in D.R. Horton: whether a union can now waive a member’s right to participate in a class action. The Fifth Circuit should rule on the D.R. Horton appeal any day now.

In light of the Oxford Health and American Express decisions, counsel to employers should review and, if necessary, revise arbitration agreements to ensure that the agreements include explicit class action waivers.

Listen as our authoritative panel of employment counsel discusses the anticipated impact of the Supreme Court rulings  on arbitration agreements and class action proceedings, the interplay of the new cases with last year's NLRB decision restricting the use of class action waivers in employment arbitration agreements, and best practices for employment counsel to draft enforceable class action waivers in arbitration agreements.



  1. Review of American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant and Oxford Health Plans L.L.C. v. Sutter rulings and their impact on employment arbitration agreements
  2. Interplay of rulings with 2012 NLRB ruling D.R. Horton Inc.
  3. Best practices for drafting class action arbitration waivers in employment agreements
  4. Best practices for enforcing class action waivers in court


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are the key take aways for employment counsel from the Oxford Health and American Express decisions?
  • What contractual language in employment arbitration agreements will maximize the enforceability of class action waivers?
  • What strategies should employment counsel use when seeking to compel arbitration of an employment dispute?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Henry D. Lederman
Henry D. Lederman


He has devoted his practice almost exclusively to employment law counseling, litigation and appeals, including those...  |  Read More

William J. Emanuel
William J. Emanuel


He has extensive experience representing employers in traditional labor matters and has particular expertise with laws...  |  Read More

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