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HPPR Economy and Enterprise

SCOTUS Case Impacts Ag Workers

Wikimedia Commons

This week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court says employers can avoid settling disputes with workers in court.

But that could harm people who work on farms or in meatpacking plants … people who often rely on class-action lawsuits to collect unfairly withheld wages.

University of Denver law professor Nantiya Ruan says litigation is expensive and the damages in those types of cases are small, so ag workers usually can’t afford an individual case.

"Many many low-wage workers have negative value claims that cannot be prosecuted unless they’re brought collectively," Ruan said.

The Supreme Court’s five conservative judges agreed that requiring employees to settle disputes through arbitration doesn’t violate the National Labor Relations Act.