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The Supreme Court has begun its new term with an argument about the rights of employees to complain about pay and conditions in the workplace.
Justice Neil Gorsuch and his eight colleagues took the bench just after 10 a.m. Gorsuch is starting his first full term as a justice following his confirmation in April.
The justices immediately confronted a case that could affect up to an estimated 25 million non-union workers.
The issue is whether their employers can force them to individually use arbitration to resolve disputes. The case pits labor laws intended to allow workers to band together against an older law encouraging the use of arbitration, instead of the courts.
Gorsuch said nothing during the hour-long argument and the court seemed otherwise closely divided about the outcome.
The Supreme Court is starting its new year, with Justice Neil Gorsuch on board for his first full term.
The nine justices are taking up several high-profile, difficult cases. This follows a term in which they were mostly shorthanded after Justice Antonin Scalia's death, and the justices avoided controversial issues.
President Donald Trump tapped Gorsuch for Scalia's seat. He joined the court in April.
The term's first argument Monday is a major clash between businesses and their employees, focused on how workers can complain about pay, conditions and other issues.
Employers want to be able to enforce a provision of millions of contracts that forces workers with complaints to go to arbitration individually, not in groups.
The employees say going it alone is too costly and opens them up to retaliation.