NLRB Class Waiver Ban Can’t Survive AmEx Ruling: Judge

On Friday, November 8, 2013, a National Labor Relations Board administrative law judge issued its ruling in a case in which an employee of a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corporation claimed the energy company’s arbitration policy prohibiting class and collective actions violated the National Labor Relations Act. The judge recommended the dismissal of plaintiff’s claims, ruling that the NLRB’s stance on class waivers could not be sustained in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of American Express.

Labor and employment attorney Michael Lauderdale, lead counsel for Chesapeake Energy, was interviewed by Law360 following the decision.

“We are pleased with the ALJ’s decision holding that the provision of the arbitration program prohibiting class and collective actions is valid and enforceable in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions,” he said.

The company’s arbitration program stipulates that no class, collective or representative actions are allowed to be arbitrated pursuant to the Dispute Resolution Policy, and that employees must pursue any claims they may have solely on an individual basis through arbitration.