Justice Dept. flips position in Supreme Court case


The Justice Department said Friday it will reverse its stance on a Supreme Court case, in which the department previously favored workers over management.

The Justice Department under the Obama administration had thrown its weight behind the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the case, NLRB v. Murphy Oil, but the department is now weighing in on the side of Murphy Oil.


The case seeks to answer whether an employee agreement that makes employees wave their right to bring a class action lawsuit against their employer goes against the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

The Department of Justice (DOJ) claimed in a new amicus brief first reported by Politico that “nothing in the NLRA’s legislative history indicates that Congress intended to bar enforcement of arbitration agreements like those at issue here.” 

DOJ acknowledged that it previously supported the position of the NLRB, which had ruled against such arbitration agreements, but said that “after the change in administration, the office reconsidered the issue and has reached the opposite conclusion.”

It is uncommon for the Justice Department to change positions in a Supreme Court case.

Tags National Labor Relations Act National Labor Relations Board
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