Lewis v. Epic Systems Corp., No. 15-2997 (7th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Epic Systems sent an email to employees, containing an arbitration agreement mandating that wage-and-hour claims could be brought only through individual arbitration and that the employees waived “the right to participate in or receive money or any other relief from any class, collective, or representative proceeding.” The agreement included a clause stating that if the “Waiver of Class and Collective Claims” was unenforceable, “any claim brought on a class, collective, or representative action basis must be filed in a court of competent jurisdiction.” It stated that employees were “deemed to have accepted this Agreement” if they “continue[d] to work at Epic.”.The following day, Lewis, a “technical writer” at Epic, followed instructions for registering his agreement. Later, Lewis had a dispute with Epic, and sued Epic in federal court, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 201, and Wisconsin law. Lewis responded that the arbitration clause interfered with employees’ right to engage in concerted activities for mutual aid and protection and was unenforceable. The district court agreed. The Seventh Circuit affirmed denial of the motion to compel arbitration, finding that the agreement violated the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. 151, and is also unenforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. 1.