June 12, 2018
Click here to read article in Baton Rouge Business Report
Taylor Porter Labor and Employment Practice Partner Tom Peak was interviewed by the Baton Rouge Business Report in the article, "Does Your Business Need a Collective-Action Waiver?" The article discusses the impact of a recent Supreme Court ruling in which it was decided that companies across the country can use arbitration clauses in their employment contracts to prohibit workers from banding together to take legal action over workplace issues.
While the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit — the lower court governing Baton Rouge and other parts of Louisiana and Mississippi — already had this rule in effect, the court’s decision confirms that this law is here to stay, at least, for the time being, says Peak in the article. There was always a lingering concern the higher court might reverse the Fifth Circuit’s decision, says Peak, especially under left-leaning administrations that were more employee- and union-friendly. The decision tilts the scales in the direction of business. “As long as the court retains its composition, that possibility (of a reversal) no longer exists,” Peak says. “To me, everybody is served by predictability.”
The main benefit to arbitration, as opposed to litigation, is the lower costs, more streamlined process and increased control over the decision-maker, Peak says, since the parties typically pick the arbitrator via a contractually agreed upon process, as opposed to having a judge randomly assigned to the dispute.
Practicing law since 1984, Peak practices in labor and employment law, including employee benefits litigation (ERISA and COBRA), employment eligibility and certification (under the immigration laws), workers' compensation (representing management), and OSHA matters. He also represents clients in higher education law. He has presented seminar topics on labor and employment law, including sexual harassment, discrimination, labor certification, employment eligibility issues, family medical leave, workers compensation and Wage and Hour law for the Baton Rouge Bar Association, the National Business Institute, the Louisiana Chapter of the International Personnel Management Association, and Louisiana State University. He has authored articles in the Baton Rouge Business Report on subjects including employee privacy issues and employee payment issues.