Illegal Alien Employees Win Lawsuit Regarding Lost Overtime Pay

In April 2012, the Department of Labor sued a business in New York City for failing to pay workers overtime. The business was a nail salon, Cindy’s Total Care, Inc. on Manhattan’s Upper West Side who fought back against the lawsuit. What was their explanation? Cindy’s Total Care, Inc. claimed their employees were illegal aliens and therefore, not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act and were exempt from overtime pay. The New York City’s Department of Labor launched in investigation and found that the salon’s employees were required to work over 40 hours a week without overtime at a set rate for each day (a day rate), no matter how many hours worked. Employees sometimes worked six 10-hour days a week. Another requirement under the FLSA is that all employers must keep records of employees’ pay and hours, which the salon also failed to do. Under the federal overtime pay laws (FLSA), it doesn’t matter whether or not you are an illegal alien, everyone is protected and citizenship is irrelevant. If this were not part of the law, ethical companies would be at a disadvantage to their unethical competitors who hire illegal immigrants without having to pay them a fair salary. The employees won the lawsuit by a landslide and the nail salon was forced to pay their employees $117,960 in overtime pay, another $117,960 in liquidated damages and $8,389 dollars in trial costs. Cindy’s Total Care ended up paying $244,309 to their employees.

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A situation that involves attorneys is emotional - Mike Lore is an attentive listener and really helped me come to the terms of my situation. He used his understanding of the law to construct a case that was grounded in fact and skipped the needless 'finger-pointing' and 'he-said/she-said' back and forth. Mike's professionalism with me (the client) and the opposing attorney moved the case forward quickly with a successful result.

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After talking to HR and trying to find answers to my questions about the overtime laws online, I was so confused. I contacted the firm and spoke to Stacy. She was so nice and took the time to review my pay stubs. She explained what the law requires and how it applied to my job. Turns out I do not have a case. Even though I didn’t have a case, she sent me a follow up email with even more information. So glad I called them.

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