What is the Statute of Limitations for an Overtime Claim?
The statute of limitations under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") is two years. Under the Massachusetts overtime laws, it is three years.
This means you can still bring a claim if any of the unpaid hours fall within the applicable limitations period, but you will not be able to recover damages for time that falls outside. For example, if you worked for an employer for five years and bring a claim for unpaid overtime in year five, you can still recover for all damages going back two years for the FLSA and three under Massachusetts law, but you will not be able to recover the earlier time.
Most employees would seek to recover under Massachusetts law, for obvious reasons. There are some employees, however, who are exempt under Massachusetts law but not under federal law (for example, restaurant, hotel, and gas station employees). For these individuals, you most likely will be limited to the two year look back under the FLSA, so it is important to speak with an employment lawyer as soon as possible if you think you are owed overtime wages.
Learn more here about overtime under Massachusetts and federal law.
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