There are strict time limits that apply to any claim to recover unpaid overtime, so procrastination can be costly. Unless you are 100% certain that you are not legally entitled to overtime pay and/or that your overtime pay has been calculated correctly, you should take a few minutes NOW to get a free and confidential review of your particular situation. There could be tens of thousands of dollars at stake.
Under federal law, which sets the time limits in most states, claims for unpaid overtime must be brought within 2 years. If the employer’s violation of the wage payment laws is “willful”, the timeframe can be extended to 3 years. It is important to understand how the statute of limitations for unpaid overtime claims works – and differs from the limitations for other types of claims (such as personal injury) that you may be familiar with that allow an injured party to wait until the last minute to file a lawsuit but still preserve the full value of their claim.
Claims to recover unpaid overtime pay are subject to a look-back time period of limitations, meaning the time period for which unpaid wages can be recovered extends back from the day a lawsuit is filed (in most instances 2 or 3 years). So a lawsuit filed today would be able to seek recovery of back overtime for only the prior 2 or 3 years. Any part of a back wage claim that was earned more than 2 years (sometimes 3) before the date suit is filed may not be collectible.
If workers wait too long after they leave a job or after an unlawful pay scheme has been changed to pursue a claim, they may reach a point at which they begin to lose a portion of their claim with every day that passes. This means that any part of a back wage claim which was earned more than two years before a federal court lawsuit is filed may not be collectible.
There are a few states that have overtime rules that provide an extended time period for recovering unpaid overtime wages, including the following:
While these longer limitations periods are beneficial to workers and give them more time to take action on claims provided under state laws, they do not extend the time limits for asserting claims under federal law. So, the best way to protect your rights is to act now to insure that you do not miss out on any back pay that you may be entitled to recover.
Get a free and confidential review of your case here and learn about statute of limitations employment law by contacting us today.