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Kellogg Leads the Charge to Exploit Supreme Court Arbitration Victory

By targeting former employees for defying agreements, the cereal giant lays down a warning: Forget about suing us.

Boxes of Kellogg’s cereal
Photographer: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg

Former employees of Kellogg Co. are suing the company. Their claims? They allege the cereal giant shouldn’t have sued them earlier this year. And why did Kellogg go after its employees in the first place?

Well, for suing the company, of course.

This complicated conflict, slated for hearings before arbitrators in February, is emblematic of the new world faced by aggrieved U.S. employees under a recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent. But first, some background.

It all began last year, when a Kellogg employee in Nevada filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of co-workers who were allegedly denied overtime pay. Kellogg denied the allegations and successfully petitioned the judge to move the case to arbitration, citing an agreement the employee had signed requiring that disputes be handled there, rather than in court.