Fisher Taubenfeld LLP

What are your possible options for seeking back pay?

Going to work every day is not everyone's idea of a good time, especially if they do not particularly love their jobs. Still, you and many other New York residents understand the importance of holding a job and earning an income. After all, without your job and the compensation you receive, you would likely face a number of struggles.

Unfortunately, the compensation you receive may not always suit the work that you do. In fact, your employer may have violated wage and hour laws by committing wage theft. As a result, even though you did your best at your job, you still did not receive the compensation you earned and deserved.

What can you do?

Because wage theft is a serious violation of employment law and wage and hour law, you have rights as an employee to seek that compensation. In many cases, successful outcomes result in workers obtaining back pay, or the sum of money that makes up the difference between the amount of compensation workers obtained and what they should have obtained. If you believe that your employer has not properly compensated you, one of the following courses of action may apply to your case as allowed under the Fair Labor Standards Act:

  • The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor may supervise back pay.
  • The Secretary of Labor may bring suit against the violating employer in order to obtain back wages and liquidated damages.
  • You may move forward with a private lawsuit in pursuit of back pay, liquidated damages, attorney's fees and court costs.
  • The Secretary of Labor could also utilize an injunction to keep employers from violating the FLSA, which includes wage theft or other wage and hour violations.

When considering your options, you may want to remember that you have a two-year statute of limitations when it comes to recovering your back pay. If your employer willfully committed the violations, that time frame may increase to a three-year statute of limitations. Additionally, if the Secretary of Labor filed suit or the Wage and Hour Division supervised your payment of back wages, you cannot later bring a private suit.

Where can you start?

If you have concerns over not receiving rightful compensation for your services, you may want to gain reliable information on your options. Speaking with an employment law attorney in order to obtain an evaluation of your case could help you understand how the details of your situation may influence your possible case and what legal steps may best work in your favor.

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