Back Wages


Back Pay is a common wage violation.  Back pay is when the employer makes up the difference between what the employee was paid and the amount he or she should have been paid.   The court may order employers to pay back wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Listed below are methods, which the FLSA provides for recovering unpaid minimum and/or overtime wages.

(1) The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor may supervise payment of back wages.

(2) The Secretary of Labor may bring suit for back wages and an equal amount as liquidated damages.

(3) An employee may file a private suit for back pay and an equal amount as liquidated damages, plus attorney's fees and court costs.

(4) The Secretary of Labor may obtain an injunction to restrain any person from violating the FLSA, including the unlawful withholding of proper minimum wage and overtime pay.

An employee may not bring suit under the FLSA if he or she has been paid back wages under the supervision of the Wage and Hour Division or if the Secretary of Labor has already filed suit to recover the wages.

There is a two-year limitation to the recovery of back pay. In the case of willful violations a three-year limitation applies.





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