In a decisive victory for small businesses nationwide, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled against the National Labor Relations Board yesterday. In the case, D.R. Horton v. National Labor Relations Board, the court decided that employers have the “right to resolve legal disputes through arbitration rather than costly court battles.” While union bosses are surely wringing their hands in distress over the decision, small-business owners have reason to celebrate.
The case centered on the question of “whether it is an unfair labor practice for an employment contract to contain a waiver of class action rights” instead of simply allowing labor disputes to be resolved through individual arbitration. By ruling in favor of allowing arbitration, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck a blow to the NLRB, Big Labor and their trial bar allies, which typically count on the costly process of court battles to rake in a bigger payday.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) filed an amicus brief in the case advocating on behalf of employers’ right to resolve disputes through arbitration. According to Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center, the court’s ruling “is a victory for small business owners, who lack the in-house resources to defend employment disputes in court.”
Now, instead of being forced into a lengthy, expensive court process, employers have a protected right to settle disputes through individual arbitration, saving time, money and resources that most small-business owners don’t have.
Chalk up another defeat against Big Labor bosses and a major win for small businesses and fairness.