The Impact of "Epic Systems" on #MeToo

Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Lisa Banks spoke at a CPR Institute CLE Program, “Epic Systems vs. #MeToo: What Now? Program and Networking Event.”

In May, the Supreme Court held in Epic Systems v. Lewis that employment contracts can require employees to individually arbitrate their claims, barring them from proceeding in arbitration collectively or as a class. Critics of the decision believe that requiring individual arbitration will make it difficult if not impossible for employees to pursue wage claims that often involve relatively small amounts individually, but significant sums when brought collectively.  Critics also fear that the Court’s decision will perpetuate the culture of secrecy that has allowed sexual harassment to flourish in the workplace.

The panel discussed how companies should proceed now that their right to enforce mandatory arbitration and class waivers has been affirmed, but the practice faces significant opposition in light of the #MeToo movement. Ms. Banks and others also deliberated about different approaches and considerations for attorneys working in this arena.

Joining Ms. Banks were Peter Cahill, an Executive Director at Ernst & Young; Diane Dann, a Senior Vice President of Employment Law at Mastercard; and  Kathleen McKenna, a partner at Prokauer Rose. The panel was moderated by Sarah Bouchard, a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

Find more information on the event here.