Keiana Greene-Page,, 202-730-7162

Issued May 21, 2018

SEIU’s Henry: Working people shouldn’t have to sign their rights away just to have a job

WASHINGTON—SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis et al on whether employment contracts can legally prohibit employees from participating in class-action lawsuits against their employers:

“Many working people in our country will tell you that it’s intimidating to stand up to their employers and fight for their rights, especially when they have to stand alone. Today, the Supreme Court has made it more difficult, if not impossible, for working people to use our legal system to fight against unlawful employer policies like wage theft, unequal pay and other forms of discrimination.   

“No person working in the United States should have to sign away their rights just to have a job. This is what happens when unscrupulous employers and special interests are allowed to rig the system against working people by forcing them, as a condition of employment, to give up their basic right to stand together.

“This case goes to the heart of why unions are important for our nation’s workforce. When working men and women join together in unions, they are empowered not only to fight against unlawful employer practices but also to bargain for better pay and benefits.  Too many people are working longer hours for lower wages. We should be making it easier for working people to stand together, not harder.

“SEIU members are more determined than ever to hold employers accountable and to fight for jobs that give working people a chance to provide for their families, achieve the American dream, and live and retire with dignity.  Today’s decision allowing abusive employer agreements is a step in the wrong direction.”