A few months ago I posted about actions that FINRA and the NLRB were taking in support of allowing class arbitration, and those agencies have recently taken additional actions that help consumers or employees with relatively low dollar claims.
The NLRB brought a complaint against 24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc. The complaint alleges that 24 Hour Fitness’s requirement that all of its employees waive their rights to any type of collective or class action suits — whether in arbitration or litigation — “violates protections guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act.” The complaint cites seven instances where classes of employees were claiming wage and hour violations and 24 Hour Fitness moved to compel those plaintiffs to individual arbitrations.
FINRA also recently approved a change in its arbitration rules. In recognition that $25,00 is no longer the cutoff for “smallish” claims, FINRA raised the dollar limit for its simplified and streamlined arbitration from $25,000 to $50,000. Cases under $50,000 can now be heard by one arbitrator on written submissions with expedited discovery. This should help securities customers with lower damages afford to prosecute their claims.