Fair Labor Standards Act Attorneys Fees
While overtime laws allow employees to claim unpaid wages for 2 to 3 years, the recovered wages are usually a fraction of the Fair Labor Standards Act attorney’s fees. So what’s the need to file a lawsuit to claim back pay when you could end up with some out-of-the-pocket expenses?
Contrary to popular belief, employees are not necessarily required to contribute to the attorney’s fees. Under FLSA, there are legal provisions for recovering unpaid overtime wages, liquidated damages, and the attorney’s fees if a judge rules the employees’ favor.
No Recovery, No attorneys Fees
Many overtime attorneys accept overtime cases on a contingency fee arrangement. Therefore, employees can access the justice system without paying upfront costs. An attorney gets paid only when they have recovered the unpaid wages. In other words, the plaintiff owes the attorney nothing if they do not make a recovery on the case.
Awarding of Fair Labor Standards Act Attorneys Fees: Cain v. Almeco USA, Inc.
In the case of Cain v. Almeco USA, Inc., Kelly Cain filed a lawsuit under FLSA claiming $6,097 in unpaid overtime wages from her employer. Almeco USA, Inc., a former employer, refused to agree on a settlement with Cain. The plaintiff then submitted an overtime case to a jury, and the defendant lost. The counsel representing the plaintiff persuaded the jury that the defendant willfully violated the FLSA laws. While the unpaid overtime was $6,097, the court ordered Almeco USA, Inc. to pay double the damages ($13,814) and $173,300.50 as the attorney’s fees.
Denial of Fair Labor Standards Act Attorneys Fees: Dionne v. Floorsmasters Enterprises, Inc.
In the case of Dionnes v. Floorsmasters Enterprises, Inc., the plaintiff claimed about $3,000 in unpaid overtime wages. Since the defendant had kept proper time records, they were able to determine the overtime owed and then paid the entire claim amount. The plaintiff accepted the offer from the defendant. However, he also sought to recover the attorney’s fees because he was the prevailing litigation party. Unfortunately, by accepting all the unpaid wages, the plaintiff mooted his claim. As such, the Eleventh Circuit dismissed his claim.
How To Reduce The Attorneys Fees
Many employees choose to pursue unpaid wage and overtime claims through collective actions rather than filing lawsuits individually. It is because there is safety in numbers, as you can share the legal expenses and risks. However, every case is unique and, therefore, an overtime attorney will tell you the best approach after careful evaluation.
If you need to speak with a trusted overtime lawyer, contact The Hedgpeth Law Firm, PC today at (281) 572-0727 for a free consultation. We specialize in a wide range of overtime violations, including misclassification of employees, Chinese overtime, minimum wage violations, tip pooling violations, and failure to pay overtime each week.