May 21, 2018

The big picture: SCOTUS sides with employers on arbitration

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that companies can force arbitration agreements on employees to keep them from filing claims as a group.

Why it matters: Forced arbitration has been criticized as a way for companies to silence victims and hide illegal behavior. Class actions have also been viewed as often the only way for employees to financially afford to pursue actions against an employer.

  • The decision follows a 2011 case in which the court ruled similarly in favor of companies' ability to force arbitration with class action waivers to consumers.

Arbitration clauses have been in the tech news recently, as the industry grapples with issues like pay gaps, other workplace discrimination, and sexual harassment.

  • Last year, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler's lawyers filed an amicus brief in this case, arguing against forced arbitration with class action waivers.
  • Last week, Uber (followed by rival Lyft) announced that it would exempt employees, drivers, and riders from forced arbitration pertaining to claims of sexual harassment or assault, though it still forces victims to pursue their cases as individuals, not as a class.

Go deeper

Warren sees bump in national poll following Nevada debate

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren surged to 19% and second place in a CBS News/YouGov national poll released Sunday, trailing front-runner Sen. Bernie Sanders (28%) but edging out Joe Biden (17%) and Michael Bloomberg (13%).

Why it matters: The poll notes that only 42% of Democratic primary voters have made up their minds. While Warren underperformed in the first three states, her strong debate performance in Nevada last week may have given her campaign new life.

Pence aide says intel report of Russia helping Trump is "false information"

Marc Short. Screenshot: Fox News

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has not received intelligence that Russia is seeking to help President Trump win re-election, calling it "false information" that has been selectively leaked by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The big picture: Short and national security adviser Robert O'Brien both dismissed reports published in the Washington Post and New York Times last week about a briefing provided by top election security official Shelby Pierson, an aide to outgoing acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.

Bernie's juggernaut

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders won so big in the Nevada caucuses that Democrats are hard-pressed to sketch a way he's not their nominee.

Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.