If you have been illegally denied overtime or minimum wages, you have the right to file a lawsuit for yourself or for yourself and other, similar employees, to recover the unpaid wages and, in some cases, additional compensation called liquidated damages. You also have the right to recover the attorneys' fees costs that you incur in the lawsuit.
FLSA Collective Actions
Claims involving minimum wage violations, unpaid overtime and child labor violations often involve many employees with the same or similar complaints. The FLSA has a procedure set forth for collective actions, which are slightly different from class actions. For one, you must decide whether you want to be a part of the suit and sign a formal document to opt in. Most class actions assume you want to participate and require you to opt out if you don't.
If you opt in to a collective action, you are bound by the result. You cannot later sue on your own to recover the money you are owed. The decision to opt in may affect how much you can collect. The statute of limitations on most FLSA claims is two years. The start of the two-year period is set by the date you sign the written consent to be a party to the lawsuit and file it with the court.
An FLSA Attorney Can Help You Make Your Decision
So, should you opt in? Is that the best option for collecting the money you are owed? The answer is maybe. The right decision for you will be based on your situation. What is the nature of your employment? What evidence do you have of your underpayment? Were the other employees seeking relief affected in the same way by the same policies that hurt you?
If you have been denied proper overtime pay or minimum wage by your employer, you need an experienced employment lawyer on your side. At Costello & Mains, LLC, we know how to protect your rights. We have helped employees take on large employers and we've prevailed. Call us at 856-291-0642 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.