What can I do to protect my overtime rights?

You can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or hire an attorney to assist you and possibly file a private lawsuit. Private lawsuits are the way in which most employees recover unpaid overtime.

What about retaliation for making a claim for overtime?

The FLSA is aimed at protecting the rights of employees and forbids an employer from retaliating against an employee who files an overtime claim or participates in a legal action to collect overtime pay. An employer who “willfully” retaliates can be subject to a fine and even imprisonment.

How do I prove the amount of time I worked?

It is the employer’s obligation to maintain accurate and complete records of the time worked by employees. If an employer does not maintain proper records, the employee is entitled to recover based on good faith, reasonable and realistic estimates.

If I am successful, what will I receive?

When plaintiffs prevail, they are entitled to recover all unpaid overtime for two or sometimes three years prior to the filing of a lawsuit. In almost all cases, they are additionally entitled to an award of “liquidated damages” equal to the amount of the unpaid overtime. This means that a successful employee can recover two times the amount of unpaid overtime. A successful plaintiff can also be awarded attorney’s fees and expenses.

What are the time limits?

In most cases, a Plaintiff can recover unpaid overtime for work done for two (2) years prior to a lawsuit being filed. In some instances, unpaid overtime can be recovered for work done for three (3) years prior to a lawsuit being filed. It is important to know that only the filing of a lawsuit “stops the clock.” Complaining to your employer or the Department of Labor does not “toll” the FLSA statute of limitations.

How long does a case take?

While most cases settle prior to a trial, the process can take from several months to several years. There are many factors that impact the timing in an FLSA case, including where the case is filed, the amount of discovery and investigation required, the number of plaintiffs involved and the attitude of the parties.

How do the lawyers get paid?

While there is no “standard” arrangement as to how overtime lawyers get paid, we handle overtime cases on a contingent fee basis. What this means is that our fees will be calculated as a percentage of any recovery or judgment we obtain for the client(s). We will advance all expenses relating to the case.

Will I be taxed on my recovery?

Since you are recovering money that is owed to you for unpaid wages that would have been taxed had they been properly paid, the recovery will be taxed as income to you.