Supreme Court rules employers can block class action lawsuits in win for businesses

The decision upholds agreements requiring issues be resolved outside the courts.

The case challenged provisions in employee contracts called arbitration agreements in which employees agree that if there is a dispute between them and an employer they will resolve it without filing a lawsuit.

"The policy may be debatable but the law is clear: Congress has instructed that arbitration agreements like those before us must be enforced as written."

Gorsuch wrote that the employees challenging arbitration agreements did not prove that the agreements violated federal law.

"They object to their agreements precisely because they require individualized arbitration proceedings instead of class or collective ones," they said in the decision.

"The inevitable result of today's decision will be the underenforcement of federal and state statutes designed to advance the well-being of vulnerable workers, Ginsberg said.

She wrote that the decision that employees who want to dispute their wages with their employer have to use arbitration does not come from federal law but is the result "take-it-or-leave-it" labor contracts similar to those that block employees from joining a union and that suppress the right of workers to take legal action.

Shaw said it's unclear how the decision would affect disputes related to issues like sexual harassment, which have garnered more attention since the #MeToo movement.