Question:Can you sue for unpaid wages?
Answer: Only if you have a good unpaid wages lawyer or unpaid wages attorney.
In a recent decision, Judge Frederic Bloc of the Eastern District of New York found in favor of two Plaintiffs against their employer, awarded the Plaintiffs’ unpaid wages and attorneys fees. In Christian et al v. Metropolitan Specialty Lab’s, Inc. et al., two Plaintiffs, Plaintiff Mahendran and Plaintiff Christian, filed suit against their former employer Metropolitan Specialty Lab’s, Inc., as well as the employer’s owner, individually, and the employer’s president, individually.
Plaintiff Mahendran had worked for Metropolitan Specialty Lab’s, Inc. as a Medical Technologist since February 2011 earning $26.00 an hour. She worked a regular 40 hours a week. However, in September 2012, despite the fact that Plaintiff Mahendran continued to perform her job duties and work her normal hours, her employer stopped paying the regular designated pay and instead, just paid her random amounts and at sporadic times.
Plaintiff Christian had worked for Metropolitan Specialty Lab’s, Inc. as an Accession Personnel / Receptionist since February 2012 earning $15.00 an hour, in which she worked at a regular 40 hours a week. In August 2012, she received a raise to $975.00 per week. However, on 09/16/12, despite the fact that Plaintiff Christian continued to perform her duties and work her normal hours, like Plaintiff Mahendran, the employer just stopped paying on time and instead, just paid Plaintiff Christian random amounts and at sporadic times.
Despite not being paid, Plaintiffs continued to work because Defendants always told them that they would catch up with the amounts owed eventually.
The Defendants did not maintain any system of recording hours actually worked by their employees. The Defendants misled Plaintiffs to believe they would be paid back the amounts owed for the hours worked.
Plaintiffs filed suit against the Defendants for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act under 29 U.S.C. § 201, et seq. (“FLSA”), the New York State Labor Law, Articles 6 & 19 (“NYLL”) for failure and refusal to pay them the earned wages for work performed, and the New York wage theft prevention act.
In the complaint, as a result of the Defendant’s violation of the NYLL and FLSA, Plaintiffs claimed a) the full amount of underpayment, (b) attorneys’ fees and costs, (c) prejudgment interest, and (d) an additional amount as liquidated damages equal to one hundred percent of the total amount of wages found to be due.
Both Plaintiffs also claimed that the Defendants had violated the New York wage theft prevention act, or specifically the Theft Prevention Act, New York Labor Law § 195, et seq., and sought damages they had suffered as a result of Defendants’ failure to provide Plaintiffs with any sort of written notice regarding: their regular rate of pay, overtime rate of pay, how they were to be paid, their “regular payday,” the official name of the employer and any other names used for business, the address and phone number of the employer’s main office or principal location, nor, allowances taken as part of the minimum wage (including, inter alia, tips).
Under the New York wage theft prevention act, employers are to give written notice of wage rates to each new hire. The notice must include:
- Rate or rates of pay, including overtime rate of pay (if it applies)
- How the employee is paid: by the hour, shift, day, week, commission, etc.
- Regular payday
- Official name of the employer and any other names used for business (DBA)
- Address and phone number of the employer’s main office or principal location
- Allowances taken as part of the minimum wage (tips, meal and lodging deductions)
The notice must be given both in English and in the employee’s primary language (if the Labor Department offers a translation). The Department currently offers translations in the following languages: Spanish, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Polish and Russian.
The complaint also alleged that the Defendants failed to pay Plaintiffs the minimum wage rate for all hours worked as required by law, in violation of the FLSA and NYLL.
After the evidence was presented by both sides regarding the Plaintiffs report unpaid wages, on 08/08/19, Judge Frederic Block found that the Plaintiffs unpaid wages lawyer and unpaid wages attorney was convincing, finding in favor of the Plaintiffs who were suing for unpaid wages, finding that the Defendants had violated the New York wage theft prevention act, and entered a judgment against the Defendants, and finding that the employer had committed a number of violations against Plaintiff Mahendran and Plaintiff Christian in denying them their unpaid wages. Specifically, the Court awarded Plaintiff Christian a total of $125,325.00. In addition, Christian was entitled to 9% interest on $70,075.00 accruing annually from 01/22/16 until the entry of judgment.
The Court awarded Plaintiff Mahendran a total of $30,800.00. In addition, Mahendran is entitled to 9% interest on $25,800.00 accruing annually from 10/22/15 until the entry of judgment.
The Court jointly awarded Plaintiff Christian and Plaintiff Mahendran $81,500.00 in attorneys fees and $1,805.98 in costs. Accordingly, the Defendants have to pay the Plaintiffs’ unpaid wages attorney and unpaid wages lawyer directly.