GIRARDI KEESE LAWYERS
Take Action Today 800-401-4530

Do Employees Not Have 'True Liberty' in Their Dealings with Employers?

"There is no true liberty to contract on the part of the employee."

- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

boardroom.jpg

Free market principles dictate that people can enter into transactions with each other as they see fit. The "at will" concept - in which an employer can fire an employee without being required to explain why (and an employee can leave his or her job without reason or notice) - aligns with free market principles, those of unfettered supply and demand.

In general, this presumes that employers and workers enter into employment contracts with relatively equal bargaining power - but that is not always, perhaps not usually, true. And if the free market doesn't necessarily demand equal bargaining power between negotiating parties, at least it does require both parties' ability to freely contract, which arguably does not exist in the typical employer-employee relationship.

Case in point: At issue in front of the U.S. Supreme Court now is the right of employees to join class actions against their employers, and in this case, Justice Ginsburg said, "There is no true liberty to contract on the part of the employee."

What did she mean by true liberty?

As Greg Stohr reports for Bloomberg, Justice Ginsburg said that employees really don't have any other options - it's either sign the employer's paperwork, which in many cases means signing up for employer-backed arbitration agreements as the method for resolving disputes, or you don't get the job. In effect, this means workers give up their right to pursue legal actions in court.

And troublingly, as Stohr's report points out, some of these arbitration agreements not only force employees into arbitration, but preclude employees' ability to join together in class actions.

Read more:

Supreme Court Justices Suggest They'll Split on Workers' Class-Action Rights

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

DISCLAIMER: Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result. Any testimonials and endorsements at this site do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter or potential legal matter.

Email GK Today!

Contact for a Free Case Evaluation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy