The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires New York employers to comply with all applicable minimum wage laws. If your employer does not pay you at least the prevailing minimum wage, you may have the grounds to file a claim. Let’s take a closer look at the process of filing an FLSA claim.
You can file a claim through the federal government
If you wish to alert the authorities to a possible wage and hour violation, you can do so through the Department of Labor (DOL). You can alert authorities in person at a local office or by phone or mail. After the DOL receives your tip, an investigation will be launched to determine the veracity of your claim. If evidence is found that corroborates your assertion, a lawsuit may be filed on your behalf.
You can file a lawsuit on your own
Federal law does allow you to file a lawsuit against your employer without any outside government assistance. If you do decide to take this route, you’ll be responsible for covering any costs associated with doing so. These expenses may include attorney fees, court costs and wages lost while pursuing the matter. It’s worth noting that attorney fees and court costs may be reimbursed as part of a final settlement.
What types of damages are you entitled to?
If a judge agrees that an FLSA violation has taken place, you will likely receive back pay that was improperly withheld from you. In addition, you’ll likely be entitled to liquidated damages if there is reason to believe that this law was willfully violated. In most cases, liquidated damages are capped at the amount that a person is owed in back wages and overtime pay.
Ideally, you’ll take steps to hold a company accountable for violating federal wage and hour laws. It’s worth noting that companies cannot fire employees simply because they took action to preserve their rights. If you were terminated for engaging in protected behavior, you may be able to receive additional compensation or other relief.