Unpaid Wages Could Result In A Wage & Hour Claim:
I represent business owners; business owners who create jobs and drive the economy while producing a product or service for a fair price. I have learned that most, if not all business owners are hard working individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to build and create a new business which in turn creates opportunities for a better life for their families. When legal challenges arise, these hard working men and women turn to me for help.
Perhaps one of the greatest challenges arises under the Fair Labor Standard Acts. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires covered employers to pay time and a half for hours worked in excess of forty hours a week. If the employer fails to pay overtime, the employer may be responsible for not only the unpaid wages but liquidated damages in an equal amount as well as the employee’s attorneys’ fees.
An employer seeking to avoid liquidated damages bears the burden of proving that its violation was both in good faith and predicated upon such reasonable grounds that it would be unfair to impose upon the employer more than a compensatory verdict. An employer who knew or had reason to know that the Act applies could not establish good faith as a defense.
In order for a judge to award less than the full amount of liquidated damages, the judge must make explicit findings that the employer acted in good faith. Absent a showing of good faith, liquidated damages are mandatory.