Can an employee sue an employer for OT pay or meal time break issues if the employee signed an employee handbook that included dispute resolution through arbitration?

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Can an employee sue an employer for OT pay or meal time break issues if the employee signed an employee handbook that included dispute resolution through arbitration?

Asked on December 30, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Arbitration agreements are generally favored and enforceable by the courts, so while the employee could not give up his/her right to bring a claim for overtime pay or mean break-related claims, he or she could agree to resolve the matter via arbitration--using arbitration is handle such a disputes is legal. So in the presence of such an arbitration clause or provision, the employee would likely have to arbitrate the claim rather than bringing a lawsuit in court. However, bear in mind that the employee is still able to bring the claim and seek compensation--it's just that the claim will be decided in a different forum, other than the courts.


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