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Not being properly paid? You could have a class-action lawsuit

If your employer is keeping you on the job but not paying you overtime, if you're not being paid your state's minimum wage or if you're not receiving meal breaks, you could have a case of violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

At your company, you're probably not the only one. That's where a class-action suit comes into play.

A class-action lawsuit allows workers who have been harmed in the same way to band together to file one lawsuit. Unfortunately, these types of lawsuits are common in wage and hour cases.

The FLSA establishes a federal minimum wage, though states can choose to institute higher minimums. It also requires overtime to be paid at 1.5 times the regular rate of pay to employees who work more than 40 hours each week. It also doesn't let nonexempt employees – those who are salaried and meet other provisions – work "off the clock" and not be paid.

Class-action lawsuits can pursue damages based on either state or federal laws.

Typically, plaintiffs in class-action lawsuits will seek back wages. The FLSA also provides for what are known as "liquidated damages," and they equal unpaid wages. That means employees can be entitled to double the money they should have received.

In such cases, "injunctive relief" also can be required. That includes conditions such as changes in company policy.

You work hard and deserve to be properly paid for each hour you work. If you aren't, you and your co-workers are well within your legal rights to pursue a class-action suit.

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