The purpose of the FLSA – or Fair Labor Standards Act – is to regulate federal overtime pay. In addition to establishing rules and regulations regarding federal minimum wage, as well as overtime pay, the FLSA imposes strict penalties on companies that violate its provisions. In the worst cases, offending companies may be liable for double back pay damages.
If you feel that you have been short-changed in the workplace or that you may be entitled to file an overtime lawsuit, you need the services of an experienced Temecula FLSA lawyer who will be very familiar with FLSA regulations, as well as with the applicable California state laws. A dedicated Temecula attorney may be able to help you obtain the compensation or back pay that you need and deserve.
Under the FLSA, employees may only receive overtime pay when they work more than 40 hours in a given work week. However, California law expands upon this federal law. Specifically, pursuant to the California Labor Code (as well as state wage orders), California companies are required to pay employees overtime for working more than eight hours in a day, as well as for working more than 40 hours in a given work week.
Generally speaking, the California Labor Code is narrower than the FLSA and imposes very specific regulations on California companies. For example, California employers are required to reimburse employees for all work-related business expenses, including mileage and meals while on the road. This is not required by the FLSA.
FLSA Collective Actions
An FLSA collective action, as opposed to a class action lawsuit, may be brought as an “opt in” action, and it may be filed:
- On behalf of all affected employees
- Who are “similarly situated” to the plaintiffs who started the lawsuit
- In order to collect money under federal overtime pay laws
A knowledgeable Temecula FLSA lawyer will be able to provide more information about FLSA collective actions and traditional class action lawsuits.
Statute of Limitations
Pursuant to the FLSA, civil overtime pay actions must be filed within two years of the alleged violation. However, in cases where the alleged FLSA violations are willful, the employee will have three years within which to file a claim or lawsuit seeking damages and penalties under federal overtime pay laws.
For purposes of filing an FLSA claim or complaint, ‘willful’ refers to employer conduct that is “not merely negligent” but that rises above the level of mere negligence.
Potential Recovery and Damages
In cases where a California employer violated federal overtime pay laws, a plaintiff may be entitled to recover two times the back pay. In cases where the California employer improperly denied the employee overtime pay, the employee may be entitled to recover the unpaid overtime wages, plus interest.
Federal law also allows affected employees to recover liquidated damages in circumstances where the employer intentionally violates the FLSA.
Talk to a Temecula FLSA Attorney Today
FLSA cases require a complex skillset of federal and state legal knowledge and expertise. If you believe that you have been denied overtime pay, you may be entitled to back pay and other potential damages under both federal and state law.
You should feel free to contact an experienced Temecula FLSA lawyer at any time.