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Court upholds Murphy Oil employment arbitration policy

This article is being reprinted with permission from Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) and Oil Express. For more information on Oil Express, including subscription details, please visit or call 888-301-2645.

By Vincent Taylor,

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld Murphy Oil USA’s policy of requiring employees to sign an arbitration agreement that waived the workers’ right to file class-action, work-related lawsuits. The decision was a blow to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which had earlier ruled that the company’s policy violated the National Labor Relations Act.

But as part of the court’s Oct. 26 decision, the court required the oil company to place language in its arbitration agreements clarifying that workers hired before March 2012 were not barred from taking their disputes to the NLRB. The company already had such language in an arbitration agreement that applied to workers hired after March 2012.

The employment law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP said the court’s ruling means that arbitration agreements should be carefully worded and that “class action waivers should include a statement that the arbitration agreement does not prohibit employees from filing administrative claims.”

Copyright, Oil Price Information Service



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