California Helps Workers Sue Their Bosses. New York Has Noticed

Bloomberg Politics discusses arbitration with Ted Frank.

Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether employees have the right to bring class actions against their bosses. With the court’s Republican majority restored this year by President Donald Trump, labor advocates aren’t holding their breath.

Instead, they’re pursuing a work-around pioneered on the West Coast. A decade-old California law allows people to act as “private attorneys general,” bringing cases against companies on behalf of the government. Activists are urging other states and cities to follow suit.

It’s the latest skirmish in a long war. Over the past couple of decades, companies have increasingly required their employees — and their customers — to surrender the right to class action in a courtroom, and instead bring any grievances to individual arbitration hearings.

“Trial lawyers want to eliminate arbitration as an option in as many spheres as possible, to bring more business and money for themselves,” says Ted Frank, who directs the Center for Class Action Fairness at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “If somebody really prefers to avoid arbitration, they can find a job that doesn’t have an arbitration clause.”

Read the full article at Bloomberg Politics.