Meal and Break Violation

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Meal and Break Violation

I signed a arbitration agreement with my job that bars me from filing claims with the labor board. Now that I’m released ive sent a request for unpaid break violations totaling $5800. I have sent 2 emails with no response. I’ve tried calling but HR was busy or not at their desk. I will be sending my third and final email I was going to place the verbage that if I receive no response then I will consider the arbitration agreement null and will pursue other means to acquire the unpaid wages. Will that permit me to file a claim with the labor board?

Asked on October 9, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Did the arbitration agreement itself call for the payment of that $5,800 for unpaid break violations? If it did, then the fact that they have not honored it should enable you to treat the agreement as terminated, and so you would not be barred from filing the claims: one party's violation or breach of a contract (which would include an arbitration agreement) allows the other party to treat that agreement as terminated by the breach.
But in order to escape the agreement's terms, it must be that the other side violated the agreement in a material, or important, way. If they did not--if the payment was not part of the agreement--then their failure to pay would not let you treat the agreement as terminated and escape your obligations under it.

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