Supreme Court Approves Employers Limiting Workers’ Rights

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Despite what many may think, the battle over workers’ rights is still alive and well. Many workers are unaware that they have already signed an employee agreement that required them to revoke certain rights. Recently, the majority ruling of the Supreme court supported the employer’s decision to include limitations on employees regarding disputes and collaboration in and outside of unions to resolve them. This is a very serious concern, and many are worried that if the government supports employers over employees in this case, this could put the most vulnerable workers in a very precarious position and even contribute to the degradation of much progress that has taken place for American workers ever since FDR’s New Deal.

No More Banding Together

It’s no secret that many corporations have been wanting to get rid of unions for ages, and there have been significant laws that have protected us for quite some time (Norris-Laguardia Act of 1932, The National Labor Relations Act of 1935, The Wagner Act of 1935). Since then, class action lawsuits have greatly improved the welfare of workers and their families.

Employers Could Prevent Class Action Lawsuits

Unions. Picketing. Demonstrations. Strikes. Since the 1930s, if these efforts didn’t resolve the issue, then a group of employees came together for a class action lawsuit against their employer if they were suffering from the same or similar problems at work, such as harsh conditions, discrimination, or harassment.

Examples:

  • In 2004, a settlement that took almost ten years was finally made between Costco Wholesale Corporation and a female assistant manager who filed not only for herself but also all current and former female employees across America. The claim was brought up due to gender discrimination as well as denials for managerial opportunities.
  • In 2016, news broke from an Oxfam report about Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, Sanderson Farms, and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. Not only have several of these companies been exposed for their alarming and unusually cruel treatment of animals, but apparently their workers have been subjected to inhumane treatment as well. Workers were regularly denied bathroom breaks and, instead, they were expected to wear diapers in order to continue the dismembering process of newly slaughtered chickens. Workers were mocked and ignored if they complained, and they were forced to restrict the amount of fluids they drank and endure pain in order to have job security. For individuals with medical issues, such as diabetes, the lack of water was life-threatening. There have also been other allegations of wage theft and discrimination.

Unfortunately, collaborating for better work conditions may no longer be an option for millions of workers, unless Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is able to convince Congress to correct the Court’s ruling. She was able to do this under Obama’s presidency, which was more sympathetic to workers, but things have flipped more towards supporting employer rights under Trump, so the efforts could be met with great obstinance. There is still hope for workers’ rights, and public education can do a great deal to guide conscious employees away from unknowingly abandoning their own rights for the sake of employment.

Reach Out for Legal Support

If your rights to work in a reasonably safe environment free from discrimination and harassment are being infringed upon by your employer, it is important for you to have strong support by your side for guidance and protection. Take the time to find a qualified employment attorney to support you in this important battle if you are ready to assert your rights to your fullest ability and strengthen your odds for a successful outcome to your case.

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