arbitration

Wikimedia Commons

A federal court in Chicago handed down a big win for workers last week. It said a Wisconsin tech company cannot stop employees from filing group labor lawsuits -- and that could have effects in Indiana.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Madison-based Epic Systems couldn't make employees waive their right to team up in court.

It nullified the arbitration agreement workers signed when they were hired, on the grounds it infringed on a federally protected right.

An employee rights complaint by a former Valparaiso Menards clerk led this week to a labor victory for all 45,000 of the home improvement chain's workers across the Midwest.

The issue was over mandatory arbitration, which is legal -- companies can require employees settle complaints out of court, but they have to make sure employees know what rights they're giving up.