If your employer has violated the wage and hour laws, your first thought may be to file your claim with the Department of Labor. You may see news headlines claiming that the DOL has reached a settlement for an employee who filed a complaint with the DOL.
However, workers need to know that the DOL frequently settles cases for much less than they are worth. If you've been denied wages you deserve full compensation of your wage claim, and you're also entitled to pursue liquidated damages under the labor laws.
Your best option is to file a private suit against your employer, not with the Department of Labor. This article will teach you why:
- you do not have to accept a settlement from the Department of Labor
- maximum compensation for your case begins with experienced employment attorneys.
You Don't Have To Accept DOL Settlements
The DOL's goal is to settle your case with your employer, not to pursue maximum compensation. The DOL's goals are (1) to determine a settlement amount, and (2) to supervise payment in full. And, in fact, a payment in full may not mean the entire amount of your claim - it is merely an "administratively determined amount" of back wages as a settlement, not full payment of the underlying claim!
Workers who have filed a complaint with the DOL
do not have to accept the settlement offered. In fact, if you accept a settlement from the DOL, you waive all rights to any unpaid minimum wages, overtime compensation and an additional amount in liquidated damages. By signing a settlement agreement, you are effectively signing a "release of FLSA claims." Any employee who accepts this payment is barred from bringing a lawsuit against their employer for unpaid wages or liquidated damages.
The DOL does not have an incentive to get maximum compensation for employees who file a complaint. They have limited resources and THOUSANDS of cases. The Government Accountability Office did an undercover study
of the DOL and found that they frequently drop cases, and take several months just to begin investigating claims.
Get Maximum Compensation for your Wage or Overtime Claim
If your employer has violated the wage and hour laws, you have the right to file a private lawsuit and put your case in the hands of experienced employment lawyers
who will work without payment unless there is a recovery.
If you contact our employment lawyers you will see that our firm has an extensive background in federal labor law litigation. We are able to give each case the personal attention needed to pursue full wage compensation, liquidated damages, and attorney's fees under the labor laws.
We currently represent employees who previously filed with the DOL, but received an unfair settlement amount.
The DOL simply does not have the resources to give your case the individualized attention it deserves. We can work to get our clients not only the back wages owed, but liquated damages (a penalty), and attorney's fees as well.
Read our Case Results to see how we have recovered back wages, damages, and attorney's fees for our clients.
If you file with the DOL, they may settle your case for far less than it is worth. Contact experienced wage and hour attorneys today to get a free case review. Remember, if there is no recovery, there is no fee. You can also order a FREE copy of the 10 Biggest Mistakes that Can Hurt Your Wage and Overtime Claim to get more information.
Read the 3 Quick Tips for Wage and Overtime Claims:
Tip 1 - How to Double Your Wage Claim by using Liquidated Damages under the FLSA
Tip 2 - How to Get Your Employer to Pay Your Attorney's Fees under the FLSA
Tip 3 - How to Add an Additional Year to Your Wage and Overtime Claim under the FLSA