The U.S. House of Representatives on November 19, 2021, passed the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376), ambitious climate protection/social spending legislation that now awaits deliberation in the Senate. Tucked inside the massive bill are numerous provisions of interest to employers. One such provision would amend the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to make it an unfair labor practice for an employer to require employees to waive the right to initiate or join a class or collective action. Coupled with an additional provision that would impose steep civil monetary penalties for violations of the NLRA, the bill effectively may prohibit employers from adopting class and collective action waivers.
It is questionable whether the bill would pass the Senate with these provisions intact; if it does, however, the Build Back Better Act would usher in a harsh class action litigation climate for employers.
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