What you are entitled to receive if you file an overtime lawsuit and win depends on the circumstances of your case, but can include:
- Your unpaid wages
- Liquidated damages
- Legal fees
- Court costs
If you believe your North Carolina employer is not paying you the overtime you deserve,
Gibbons Leis, PLLC can help. We will evaluate your situation, explain the laws that apply, and help you understand your legal options for recovering your unpaid wages.
Unpaid Overtime Wages
The primary reason we file an overtime lawsuit is to collect the unpaid overtime you earned. Assuming your employer paid you straight time for all hours worked, winning your case means recovering half of your regular hourly rate for every hour worked over 40 each week.
For example, imagine you worked 45 hours each week for 10 weeks but did not receive overtime pay for those five hours each week. You earned $10 per hour as your regular hourly rate for all 45 hours, instead of the $10 per hour for the first 40 and $15 per hour for the five hours of overtime. When we take your case to court, we ask for the missing $5 per hour of overtime. In this particular case, that would add up to $25 per week or $250 for the period.
Depending on how your employer violated the overtime rules, your case might be different. This could include:
- Failing to pay overtime
- Misclassification of non-exempt employees
- Requiring you to work off the clock
- Time clock violations, such as rounding
- Classifying you as an independent contractor to avoid paying you overtime
In addition to your unpaid wages, you may be entitled to liquidated damages. The goal of these damages is to help you overcome any issues caused by the delay in your pay. Your liquidated damages could be as much as 100 percent of your unpaid overtime wages.
This means in the previous example that you could collect $250 in unpaid wages and $250 in liquidated damages.
Of course, the stakes are much higher in many cases we handle. If your unpaid wages total $5,000, you may collect up to $5,000 additionally thanks to your liquidated damages.
It is not unusual for the court to award other compensation in an unpaid overtime case. This often includes having the employer pay your attorney’s fees and legal costs. This could mean you pocket the full compensation we win on your behalf, and your employer pays us and the court for handling your case.
Filing a Wage Claim or Lawsuit in North Carolina
We do not always have to file a lawsuit to recover the unpaid overtime wages you deserve. In some cases, we will send a demand letter to your employer and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
Deadline for Filing a Lawsuit for Unpaid Overtime in North Carolina
The Fair Labor Standards Act gives you two years from the date of the unpaid wages to file a lawsuit against your employer to recover missing overtime pay. If the violation is willful, the statute of limitations can be extended to three years.
Because of these tight deadlines, it pays to act quickly. If you believe your employer, or a previous employer, failed to pay you the overtime wages you deserved, call Gibbons Leis, PLLC today at 704-612-0038 for a free consultation. We can help you understand your rights and recover the wages you rightfully earned.