Austin, TX – When a worker has not been paid properly, they can bring a lawsuit to receive all of their outstanding pay from their employer. In some cases, the employer may also owe other kinds of damages, such as interest, or liquidated damages. In a case where liquidated damages are available, this can become a significant source of compensation for certain plaintiffs. Anyone who is about to file an unpaid wage claim or lawsuit should get legal advice from a licensed attorney before doing so. 

What are liquidated damages?

These kinds of damages are generally available in some cases related to violations of the federal law known as the Fair Labor Standards Act. State law claims under Texas law also allow for liquidated damages in certain situations. Liquidated damages function like a kind of penalty against the employer for violations of wage laws. In most cases, the amount of liquidated damages paid out will need to be equal to the total that the worker is owed in all other outstanding wages. This essentially doubles the worker’s damage award. It is also unlikely that the plaintiff will be able to collect both interest on late wages, as well as liquidated damages

Employer actions and liquidated damages

Employers do have a defense against owing the worker liquidated damages. They need to show that they had a reasonable belief that the wages did not need to be paid out to the worker. This can be a fact intensive analysis based on the employer’s prior conduct and other pieces of relevant evidence. However, there are requirements placed on employers regarding record keeping and payment of wages, which prevents them from simply claiming ignorance of wage laws as a defense

Unpaid wage lawsuits in general

Workers need to be paid the full outstanding amount in a timely manner. This can include overtime pay, wages that are set at least at the state’s minimum wage, tips, and other forms of compensation. It is helpful for employees to keep their own basic records and check pay statements as they are issued for any discrepancies. The employer also needs to have complete and up to date records of each employee’s hours and wages that are available for inspection upon request. If the employer has committed any kind of wage violation, including improper classifications of workers, they can face various consequences from the government after an investigation, including having to pay the total unpaid amount.

Getting information about employment lawsuits

Moore and Associates is a labor law firm that helps workers in the Austin area. Their attorneys can provide advice about sexual harassment cases, unpaid wages, overtime law, and discrimination.

Firm contact info:

Moore & Associates

440 Louisiana Street, Suite 675, Houston, TX 77002

713-222-6775

www.mooreandassociates.net

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