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Claims of FLSA Violations May Be Litigated or Arbitrated
Description Appeals court upheld right of employees and unions to choose to litigate or arbitrate alleged violations by employer of rights protected by FLSA. Union and employees were not restricted to arbitration only.
Topic Labor Law
Key Words FSLA Claims, Arbitration
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Collective bargaining agreement covers 28,000 employees of Albertson's. Union and various locals complained that Albertson's forced employees to work without punching the time clock and without getting paid for "off-the-clock" work. The question before the court was whether the off-the-clock claims had to be submitted to arbitration under the bargaining agreement or if claims for violations of the FLSA could be filed in court.
Decision Employees have an independent statutory right under the FLSA that they may pursue in court, regardless if the same claim could also be an arbitrable dispute under the bargaining agreement. Most circuits "have held that an employee has the right to sue under the FLSA, as well as other statutes, without having to resort to the collectively bargained grievance-arbitration procedures."
Citation Albertson's, Inc. v. United Food and Commercial Workers Union, 157 F.3d 758 (9th Cir., 1998)

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