Labor rights curtailed in Supreme Court case
May 21, 2018
Supreme court curtails labor rights in class action suit case; China trade fears ease as Trump backs down; US Job market optimism at 17-year high.
- Supreme court curtails labor rights in class action suit case. The Supreme court issued a ruling Monday that declared employers can include clauses in employment contracts preventing employees from pursuing collective action, restricting their ability to sue their employers. Employees can also be forced into third party arbitration. Justice Gorsuch wrote the majority opinion, arguing the National Labor Relations Act gives employees the right to collectively bargain and organize, but does not protect employees’ rights to class action. Class action is governed by the Federal Arbitration Act, which Justice Gorsuch argued expressly intends to grant employers the right to include such language in employer contracts. A majority of non-union private employees already have such clauses in their contracts, and, given the court’s decision, research from the Economic Policy Institute indicates that such language will likely proliferate the contracts of union employees in the next several years. [The Hill]
- China trade fears ease as Trump backs down.China’s government expressed gratitude for cooling trade tensions with the United States, as President Trump agreed to halt tariffs in exchange for the Chinese promising to buy more US goods. While the administration originally demanded the Chinese reduce the trade deficit by 200 billion dollars, no target reduction was announced in the two countries’ joint statement. The current deficit stands at 335 billion dollars. While Chinese businesses were largely pleased with the news, some US businesses expressed concerns that the President missed an opportunity to address long-standing issues with China, such as the treatment of intellectual property and other matters. [Reuters]
Economic Indicators & News
- US Job market optimism at 17-year-high.US job market optimism rose to a 17-year high in a recent Gallup poll, with 2/3 of Americans saying they “feel they can find a good job.” The poll demonstrates a dramatic increase from the sentiment respondents expressed from August to October 2016, where only 42% of respondents reported they believed “now is a good time to find a quality job.” In the most recent survey, 71% of men reported now is a good time to find a job this survey, compared to 59% of women. The rosy survey data indicates that the workforce is beginning to feel the tight labor market and broader economic growth, which have resulted in a plethora of available jobs and rising wages. [The Hill]