One of the first things many employees realize at the start of their careers is how important it is to advocate for themselves, because no one else will. However, while advocating for your interests is vitally important, there are times when your interests align with the interests of other employees, and you can help each other out.
For example, if you were denied a significant amount of overtime pay, it is likely other similarly situated employees were also denied overtime pay. In these situations, you should strongly consider contacting an experienced unpaid overtime lawyer, as he or she may be able to help you and some of your coworkers recover the wages they were illegally denied.
Below, we discuss the benefits of overtime class and collective actions and how pursuing just one claim on your own could allow other employees to continue being denied overtime pay.
If employers had their way, they would continue to deny workers overtime pay to save themselves money. The next best option would be to simply pay the first few workers who make claims for unpaid overtime.
If one or just a few employees file claims and an employer has clearly violated overtime laws, the employer may not fight the claims and pay the wages the employees are legally entitled. Employers may initiate this by offering to have a judgment taken against them.
The employer’s goal is to try to quickly resolve the situation without a lot of other employees finding out and attempting to pursue unpaid wage cases. This may end up working and the employer may not have much more liability for similar wage violations.
The problem is, once a judgment is made in a case, it becomes part of the public record. The employees who won their claims are not bound by confidentiality. They are allowed to tell other employees they recovered compensation. Other employees could bring claims and would likely be successful if they are alleging the exact same pay practices as the initial claims.
The employer could end up dealing with many more unpaid overtime claims. By not dealing with the issue all at once, the employer may have cost itself a lot more money. It would have been more efficient to resolve everything in one case.
There are times when employees are denied overtime pay by mistake, or the problem only occurs a few times. However, employers often get into a pattern of denying overtime to certain groups of employees. This could happen for months or years at a time and affect dozens of employees or more.
When this happens, it makes sense for employees to band together to try to recover the wages they are being denied. These employees may also be able to help former employees recover wages they were denied.
Employees can do this through class and collective action lawsuits. These claims may not only allow workers to recover unpaid wages, but also hold employers accountable for their illegal practices and hopefully put a stop to these practices.
If more employers are held accountable for wage theft, some illegal practices may become less commonplace. For example, many workers are misclassified, or employers fail to pay workers for the work they do before and after their shifts. This has become commonplace across many industries.
If you think there may be reason for a class or collection action against your employer, you should reach out to an experienced attorney for assistance. There are many factors to review when considering whether an employer may have violated wage laws.
An initial consultation with one of our experienced lawyers is free of charge. This is an opportunity to discuss what to do next and how we may be able to assist you.
For more than three decades, we have been helping employees recover unpaid wages. We have extensive knowledge of state and federal law and are prepared to aggressively pursue all the wages you are owed.
Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation if you have been injured by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation.
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