In a recent ruling, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), fresh with recess appointees who are being legally challenged, held that arbitration clauses in employment agreements violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in preventing class-action lawsuits (as opposed to individual lawsuits).

The decision examined one such agreement used by nationwide homebuilder D.R. Horton, under which employees waived their right to a judicial forum and agreed to bring all claims to an arbitrator on an individual basis. The agreement prohibited the arbitrator from consolidating claims, fashioning a class or collective action, or awarding relief to a group or class of employees.

The board found that the Horton agreement unlawfully barred employees from engaging in “concerted activity” protected by the NLRA.

Meanwhile, the National Right to Work Foundation (NRWF) has joined other business groups in legally challenging President Obama's recess appointments to the board made while the Senate was still technically in session holding pro forma meetings. The NRWF filed a motion before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to overturn the appointments.

In other NLRB actions, unless overturned by a legal challenge, almost all private businesses in the United States must, by April 30, 2012, display the recently mandated NLRA Employee Rights Poster. Get yours today and be prepared.