What Damages Can an Employee Get For Unpaid Overtime?
The damages that can be awarded for violation of the overtime laws vary slightly depending on whether the claim is under federal or state law. In most cases employees with bring both state and federal claims, but there are some differences between the exemptions under these laws, so there may be people with only federal claims or only state law claims.
Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") a successful plaintiff will recover double the unpaid overtime, as well as reimbursement for their reasonable costs of pursuing the claim, including attorneys' fees. Unless the employee can prove a willful violation of the FLSA, the damages can not go further back than two years prior to filing the complaint.
The Massachusetts overtime statute also requires reimbursement of costs and attorneys' fees, but allows recovery of three times the unpaid amount. The damages under state law can go back three years prior to filing the complaint, even without proof of a willful violation.
Learn more here about overtime under Massachusetts and federal law.
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