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O’Melveny’s Chopra Quoted in Daily Journal on Labor Board Stance on Worker Arbitration

May 07, 2012 O’Melveny & Myers LLP partner and Labor and Employment Practice chair Apalla Chopra is quoted in the May 4, 2012, Daily Journal article, “Labor board drawing a line on worker arbitration.” The article discusses recent cases addressing the question of whether the National Labor Relations Act's Section 7, a provision allowing workers to engage in concerted activities for their "mutual aid or protection," gives them the right to bring collective claims in arbitration or court. In January, the National Labor Relations Board found homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc. guilty of unfair labor practices for requiring that employees waive their right to file class actions. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear an appeal in the case.

"We've got a much more activist board, and we've got a general counsel who is willing to issue complaints on topics that he believes violate the National Labor Relations Act in a way we haven't seen before," said Chopra, who is based in O’Melveny’s Los Angeles office. “I wouldn't be surprised if the board's D.R. Horton decision is not a valid one.” Chopra also noted she has compiled data suggesting that employers whose arbitration policies are challenged by the board are likely to prevail in appellate courts. According to her data, judges have compelled arbitration in 10 out of 12 recent federal district court cases in which plaintiffs have cited the board's decision in the D.R. Horton case.