The U.S. Supreme Court kicks off its new nine-month term on Monday with a major employment case that could deprive workers of the ability to join together to file lawsuits when taking on companies over a wide range of labor disputes.

The Trump administration will argue alongside companies that agreements requiring workers to arbitrate disputes with their employers individually, rather than bringing class-action lawsuits collectively with their co-workers, are valid.

Class-action litigation can result in large damages awards by juries and is harder for businesses to fight than cases brought by individual plaintiffs.

Many attorneys representing businesses say that resolving workplace disputes through arbitration with individual employees is a speedy and cost-effective alternative to class-action litigation.

“Unlike class actions, which can drag on forever, an individual worker in a properly constructed arbitration program can get a quick and fair resolution to their case, and most employers will pick up almost all of the cost,” said Steven Suflas, a lawyer who has represented companies in similar cases.

The Trump administration’s choice for NLRB general counsel still needs to go through the Senate confirmation process. It is possible the NLRB will change its legal position on the issue before the justices rule on the case, according to legal experts.

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