By  on April 24, 2019

Companies can generally push for individual arbitration unless their arbitration agreement explicitly allows a group, or a class of people, to collectively arbitrate their claims against it, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. The ruling is the high court’s latest over the past decade to bolster the enforcement of arbitration provisions, an increasingly prevalent and controversial feature of consumer and employment contracts.

The court’s 5-4 ruling came down in a case involving lighting retailer Lamps Plus Inc., where one of its employees, Frank Varela, sued the company over a hacking breach that apparently compromised the tax information of some 1,300 employees. But Varela, like a growing number of private sector employees, had signed an arbitration agreement with the company when he started his job there, which requires employees to arbitrate any claims they may have against the company and its leaders.

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