When Mitch McConnell’s disregard for the Constitution reaped the dividend of having Neil Gorsuch replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court many predicted nothing would change other than Scalia was effectively given another thirty or forty years on the bench. Monday morning the Court proved that when it announced its 5-4 decision, (with Gorsuch writing the opinion for the majority), in the combined cases EPIC Systems Corp. v Lewis, Ernst & Young v Morris and NLRB v Murphy Oil. Let’s explore.
The cases dealt with whether an employer can force an employee into singular arbitration. In other words can an employer prevent their employees from joining together in a class action suit against the employer when they all have the same grievance? As indicated by suit’s name, NLRB v Murphy, (National Labor Relations Board), under the Obama administration the federal government sided with the employees. Under Trump the Justice Department swiftly switched sides going so far as to file a brief siding with the employers.
Like Hobby Lobby and Conception this ruling sides with the powerful corporation at the expense of the individual. What chance does a lone employee or consumer have against a major corporation? Many employment agreements require an employee to agree to company paid arbitration as a condition of employment. How long do you think the company selected and compensated arbitrator is going to keep their contract if they rule against the company?
This is part of the reason the right wing has worked so diligently to kill the union movement. Collective bargaining somewhat levels the playing field; this situation gives Goliath and even larger advantage over David.
This reeks of what I call the plantation mentality. The employer feels that they own their employees and has a moral right to control every aspect of the employee’s life; much like the master in the big house in the era of slavery. Many on the right do not realize they are being exploited; they have the, the employee should be thankful that they have a job mentality. To subscribe to that theory you would have to believe that the employee is basically worthless. I always felt my employment situation was a symbiotic. I needed the paycheck and health benefits, but I also contributed to the company. They needed a worker and I needed what a job provided financially. The entire capitalistic model is based on an employee contributing more than they are paid in order for the company to be profitable. Ideally employment is a win-win situation resembling a fair business deal not a liaison more akin to a dominant-submissive relationship.
The breakdown of the 5-4 vote was predictable. Chief Justice John Roberts, along with Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas joining Gorsuch; while Ruth Bader Ginsberg – who delivered a full throated descent – was join by Stephen Breuer, Elaina Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor in the minority.
Greed and an insatiable thirst for power motivates most major GOP financiers and their minions are only too happy to accommodate them at the expense of average Americans.
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