Will ERISA class actions over illegal fees and retirement plan mismanagement be killed off by class-action arbitration bans?

That's the topic of this piece by Jacklyn Willie (possibly behind a pay wall) which discusses this Chamber of Commerce amicus brief filed in an important Ninth Circuit appeal. The suit was filed against the University of Southern California by its employees over the legality of fees charged through USC's employee retirement plan. Willie explains that

The central question in this lawsuit—whether arbitration clauses in employment agreements extend to ERISA claims—hasn't yet been addressed by the Ninth Circuit. In March, a federal judge in California blocked USC from sending the dispute into arbitration. The judge said the employees’ claims were brought on behalf of the retirement plan, and the plan itself never consented to arbitration. If the Ninth Circuit agrees with USC and the Chamber, it could become much harder for retirement plan participants to bring class actions challenging plan fees and other potential mismanagement.


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