Articles Posted in FLSA

When you sue because you were denied overtime pay you rightfully earned, there are several critical decisions you’ll need to make, including those related to settling the case. These include answering questions like: Do I settle now or hold out? and Is this offer amount a fair sum? It also involves determining whether the proposed settlement agreement is genuinely fair and properly protects your interests. When it comes to making these essential decisions, don’t go it alone, but instead rely on the knowledgeable advice of an experienced Atlanta unpaid overtime lawyer.

The settlement of a recent Fair Labor Standards Act case from rural southwest Georgia demonstrates how essential it is to ensure, not only that you have the right settlement amount, but also the right settlement agreement.

The plaintiffs were a group of several dozen workers who processed animals at a Georgia slaughterhouse. The workers were hourly employees who allegedly, on several occasions, worked more than 40 hours in a week but did not receive the overtime pay they should have.

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If you have been harmed at work, such as a failure by your employer to pay you minimum wage or your failure to receive overtime pay you’ve earned, you’ll face many hurdles. One of these may be people – whether it’s your employer or third parties – trying to convince you that you have no case. Don’t rely on the opinions of the naysayers. Instead, make your decisions only after you’ve sought out and obtained advice from a knowledgeable Atlanta wage-and-hour lawyer. You might be surprised what options the law has for you.

W.S.E. was a worker whose unpaid overtime case illustrates this point well. Even though W.S.E. worked (and sued) in Florida, her case was decided by the federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the court whose opinions control federal cases in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, so the ruling has a direct impact on you if you’re pursuing a Fair Labor Standards Act case in federal court here in Georgia.

W.S.E., an administrative assistant with a small pest-control services company that served the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach area, filed an FLSA lawsuit in which she accused her employer of improperly failing to pay overtime it owed her.

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In attempting to assert an Atlanta employment law claim, it important that the plaintiff include the appropriate allegations and requests for relief. Sometimes, however, more information becomes available as the case develops, such that a plaintiff may attempt to file an “amended complaint” to include the new information or an updated demand for relief.

Depending upon the court rules and the status of the proceedings, the plaintiff may or may not need the court’s permission to file an amended complaint. Likewise, the defendant may wish to alter its answer. A timely request to amend the pleadings is important, regardless of whether it is the plaintiff or the defendant who is making the request.

An amended pleading may appear to give the parties more than a single “bite at the apple,” so to speak. However, there are limitations on what can be accomplished via an amendment, as rules such as the statute of limitations still apply.

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The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law that establishes a minimum wage and sets forth the rules that apply to overtime pay. This important statute also codifies certain recordkeeping requirements that are to be imposed upon employers, and it has provisions designed to prevent the exploitation of children in the workforce.

If someone believes that they may have an Atlanta wage and hour claim, it is important that they speak with legal counsel as soon as possible. There are several important steps to asserting one’s legal rights under the FLSA, and deadlines may apply.

A successful FLSA litigant may be entitled to several types of damages, including a court order requiring the defendant employer to pay the plaintiff employee’s attorney’s fees and related litigation costs. The plaintiff employee may also be entitled to monetary compensation for unpaid overtime wages, among other damages.

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There was a lot of talk during the recent election cycle about the possibility of raising the minimum wage. Whether or not this will happen remains to be seen, but, in the meantime, there are a number of state and federal laws aimed at ensuring that workers are treated fairly when it comes to pay.

One such law requires that employees who put in more than 40 hours per week are entitled to be paid an overtime wage of one and a half times their regular pay. Not all workers qualify for overtime pay, but the vast majority do.

If you believe that you qualify for overtime pay, but your employer has not been paying you time and a half for your weekly hours over the 40-hour threshold, you should talk to an Atlanta wage and hour attorney. Be mindful that there are deadlines for filing claims for overtime pay, and claims not timely filed may be deemed waived.

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An Atlanta wage and hour claim has the potential to anger the employer who is accused of wrongdoing, possibly subjecting the complaining employee to further misconduct in the workplace (assuming that he or she is still employed following the claim). Of course, it is important to note that it can be a violation of state and federal law for an employer to intentionally retaliate against a worker simply because he or she has asserted his or her legal rights in a court of law or other tribunal.

However, not every complaint of unlawful retaliation will be successful in court, as the employer does have some defenses, including an adverse employment action based on a legitimate reason rather than in retaliation; notably, in order for this defense to relieve it of liability for wrongful termination, the employer must be able to show that it was not merely pretextual.

Facts of the Case

In a case recently discussed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Savannah Division, the plaintiff was a former police officer whose employment was terminated by the defendant city in 2018. The plaintiff filed suit in federal court, alleging that the defendant had violated her legal rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, § 28 U.S.C. 201, et seq. by engaging in unlawful workplace retaliation after the parties had settled a separate lawsuit in late 2017.

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An Atlanta wage and hour lawsuit can help a worker seek redress against an employer who refuses to pay him or her in accordance with the law, including statutes and regulations aimed at making sure workers are paid a certain minimum wage. The issue of what, exactly, constitutes a fair and living wage has been the subject of much debate in recent years. As a result, some local governments have attempted to take matters into their own hands by establishing their own – higher – minimum-wage laws. A recent case arising in a sister state provides instruction on how this well-intentioned process can sometimes fail to have the result sought by local lawmakers.

Facts of the Case

In a recent federal appellate court case, the plaintiffs were two African American employees who complained that their employer had refused to pay them the appropriate minimum wage, as established by a city ordinance (setting the rate at $10.10, rather than the amount set by federal law). The employer’s actions were based on a statute (passed after the city had increased the minimum wage in its borders) “prohibiting and voiding” any local law that purported to increase the minimum wage above that which was established under federal law. They sued the defendant attorney general, averring that their rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution had been violated. The trial court dismissed their claims, and they appealed.

The Court’s Ruling

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed in part and remanded the case to the panel. The appellate court first held that the plaintiffs lacked standing under Article III of the United States Constitution to bring their equal protection claims against the defendant attorney general because they could not show that their injuries were “fairly traceable” to his conduct or that their injuries could be redressed by a decision against him. Because the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring suit against the attorney general under the circumstances, the court found it unnecessary to reach the other issues in the case (including whether the attorney general was a proper defendant and/or whether the plaintiffs had stated a plausible equal-protection claim on the merits).

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Filing an Atlanta employment law claim can be a complicated endeavor. Unlike many other types of cases, there may be pre-filing requirements that, if not complied with, can result in a claim be dismissed later on.

If you believe that your employer has violated state or federal law, it is important to talk to an experienced attorney about your situation as soon as possible. An attorney can explain your legal rights, help you investigate your case, and make sure all the appropriate paperwork is filed in a timely manner.

Facts of the Case

In a recent case, the plaintiff was a woman who went to work as an employee financial representative for the defendant company in 2013 and had exemplary job performance for her first two years of employment. After witnessing her husband commit suicide in 2015, however, the plaintiff’s work performance suffered because she was grief-stricken and emotionally raw. According to the plaintiff’s complaint, a few months after her husband’s death, the plaintiff reportedly requested an accommodation, but both her manager and his supervisor refused her request. Thereafter, the plaintiff was granted short-term disability leave. About a year later, the plaintiff was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Her work performance continued to deteriorate, her requests for a transfer to a different office were denied, and she was eventually terminated.

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Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, most employees are entitled to a minimum wage, as well as certain overtime pay benefits. An employee who believes that his or her employer has acted wrongfully under the Act should consult an attorney about the possibility of filing an Atlanta wage and hour lawsuit.

In such a suit, the plaintiff has the burden of proof, meaning that he or she must be able to convince the court of his or her entitlement to relief by a preponderance of the evidence.

If he or she is unable to do so, it is likely that the case will be dismissed on summary judgment or at trial.

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An Atlanta employment law case can be complicated by several factors – including the closing of a business or the legal status of a business’s owners. In a recent federal case, the business in question had been established through a rather complex series of agreements between various parties.

When the dust finally settled, a federal appeals court was called upon to determine whether one particular business owner could be held personally liable for the plaintiffs’ employment law claims, even though he was not the “bad actor” whose actions led to the lawsuit.

Facts of the Case

In a recent (unreported) federal appellate case, the plaintiffs were the former general manager and executive chef of an Atlanta restaurant that closed its doors after the plaintiffs and others had filed a number of claims against its owners, including the one defendant (a local celebrity/promoter who conducted business through a limited liability company) who remained in the case when it reached the court of appeals. The plaintiffs’ claims included allegations of breach of contract, failure to pay minimum wage and overtime wages, and fraud.

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