Fisher Phillips Attorneys Speak with Media on Supreme Court’s Ruling in Lamps Plus
Attorneys Darcey Groden and Megan Walker answered questions from SHRM, Law360 and Daily Journal, about the U.S. Supreme Court’s employer-friendly ruling in Lamps Plus v. Varela. The Supreme Court ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act does not allow a court to compel class arbitration when the agreement does not clearly provide for it. Darcey told SHRM, “many states, not just California, have contract interpretation rules providing that an ambiguity in a contract can be held against the drafter. In other words, under those rules, if a court finds that there is an ambiguity as to whether the parties intended an arbitration agreement drafted by the employer to include class claims, courts could compel class arbitration. "The Supreme Court has cut off that argument for employees seeking to compel arbitration of class claims."
Megan told the Daily Journal, “If a [state] rule seems to target arbitration, even if it’s a subtle targeting, then that is going to run counter to the [Federal Arbitration Act].” Megan states that following this decision, class arbitration is left essentially to situations where a contract calls for it.