How the Next Supreme Court Nomination Could Affect Employment Law

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Since it’s the Supreme Court’s job to interpret the law, the men and women who sit on the bench have the opportunity to reshape the country’s laws. This is an overview of how the next Supreme Court nomination could affect employment law.

Union Reach

Today, workers have the right to form a union with a majority vote. The current labor law confirms that the union represents every employee in a relevant group even it they didn’t vote for the union to be established. When the Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME, the ruling stated that government workers could not be required to pay union fees. The court said that it violates their right to free speech.

The next supreme court nomination could affect employment law in regards to unions by ruling that union membership requires a type of declaration from an employee that he or she wants to be a union member. This ruling has the potential of decreasing the number of workers in a union.

Discrimination Against Those Who Are Gay

The next supreme court nomination could decide whether companies have the right to discriminate when they’re hiring based on the sexual orientation of the person applying. In the past, the courts have permitted companies to reject job applicants who are gay, bisexual or transgender. But, in recent years, some of the lower courts have determined that LGBTQ job applicants are under the protection of hiring discrimination.

Brishen Rogers, a Temple Law School labor law professor, said, “Most people were pretty optimistic with Kennedy that he’d say lesbian, gay and bisexual people were protected. With a more conservative replacement, it’s less likely that would happen.” Two up and coming cases, Altitude Express Inc. et. al. v. Zarada and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, may offer clarity as to what protection may be provided by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Arbitration Instead of Going to Court

The next supreme court nomination could affect employment law by allowing employers to force disgruntled or wronged employees to take their issues through arbitration instead of through the country’s public court system. In the court case Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, the Supreme Court ruled that companies can compel employees to settle employment disputes via arbitration. According to the Supreme Court’s recent finding, workers do not always have the right to bring collective action claims to the public courts. This decision was written by Trump appointee Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, and it could impact more than 25 million U.S. employees.

While business groups applauded the court’s decision, stating that it will allow employers to avoid costly litigation, labor advocates worry that the Supreme Court could diminish workers’ ability to seek an independent judgment on their issues.

We’ll Have to Wait and See

The next Supreme Court nomination could affect employment law. In the United States, the Supreme Court has a good deal of power, so who the president appoints makes a difference. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with the next appointment.


employment lawTyler Allen