Can my boss prevent me from taking my case to court?
Increasingly, yes. The federal appeals court in New York has held that employers can force employees to bring cases for unpaid overtime and wages to an arbitrator individually instead of going to court in a collective or class action. (Read details here) This seems pretty unfair to us- these cases are often not worth a huge amount of money individually, and it’s easier for an employee to join with a group of people to all bring their claim together. However, the court said that employers could make employees sign arbitration agreements that would prevent employees from taking this action. Instead, the employees would go individually to a private arbitrator who would decide their case, out of the public eye and potentially with less evidence to go on.