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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience:  I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
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What are liquidated damages, and in what situation an employee

Resolved Question:

What are liquidated damages, and in what situation an employee can claim?

Is liquidated damages claim only for minimum wages or double the actual wages (for wages like $70/hour)?

Can one employee claim both Liquidated damages and waiting time penalties in the same claim (main claim being unpaid wages in CA)?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good morning,

I'm Doug, and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

You may actually sue the employer in court and recover your wages/commissions. Additionally, if you sue in court, under federal laws (FLSA), you are also entitled to seek what is called Liquidated damages. Liquidated damages is equal to the amount of back wages that they owe you and must be paid in addition to the wages themselves---so you essentially get double the wages owed you in the claim based on their willful failure to pay you. Additionally, you will be entitled to be awarded costs of the court as well as your attorney fees incurred in filing suit and litigating it against your employer. http://labor-employment-law.lawyers.com/wage-and-hour-law/Liquidated-Damages-and-FLSA-Claims.html

A recent law signed by the CA Governor, allows CA employees to seek liquidated damages when making a claim to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), just as they could if suing in court initially. So in CA whether you make a claim to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, or file an action in court on your own, you may seek liquidated damages. Here is a link to an article on the change---good for CA employees, but bad for CA employers: http://www.shawvalenza.com/publications.php?id=343

The award of liquidated damages is mandatory unless employer shows that (A) act or omission giving rise to violation was in good faith and (B) the employer had reasonable grounds for believing that act or omission was not a violation of 29 U.S.C.A. § 216(b). This is a very difficult standard for the employer to meet.

Here is an excellent article which deals with pursuing an FLSA claim---which you may do in either state court or federal court. Do take the time to review it:

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Pursuing+an+FLSA+claim%3a+many+employers+have+figured+out+how+to+skirt+...-a0183316511


You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed.

I wish you the best in 2013,

Doug
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Can one employee claim Interest on unpaid wages, Waiting time penalties and Liquidated damages all at one time? (main claim being unpaid wages in CA)?


 


What is your suggestions for all the penalties that i can claim for unpaid wages of multiple months (worth of $80K-$90K)?

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good morning,

The law is clear as to the fact that the liquidated damages applies to wages owed, not to other penalties. Liquidated damages would not apply to the waiting time penalty. But yes, you can get the waiting time penalty and the liquidated damages in the same claim. The penalties are not mutually exclusive.

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed.

I wish you the best in 2013,

Doug
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So my understanding is correct?


 


I can claim 'waiting time penalties', Interest on unpaid wages, and liquidated damages in one single claim for unpaid wages.

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good morning Ria,

That is correct. And don't forget if you hire an attorney to sue the employer, you can recover legal fees as well.

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed.

I wish you the best in 2013,

Doug

LawTalk, Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience: I have 30 years of experience in the practice of law, including employment law and discrimination law.
LawTalk and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

One quick follow-up question;


 


Liquidated damages calculated separately for over time or not(if i am entitled for over time) ?


 


for ex:


If i claim 20K as overtime, can i claim 40K as liquidated claim?


 


 

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Liquidated damages applies to all wages that were not paid---straight time, overtime or double overtime.

You add up all the wages due---regular time and overtime alike. Those are your unpaid wages. Liquidated damages applies to all wages unpaid.

Doug
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Thank you once again for your positive rating of my service, Ria. It is always my pleasure to assist you.

Please consider asking for me in any future legal questions you may have. You may direct your question to me through the following link. And please also place my name in the first sentence of your new question so that other site Professionals here will not respond to you:
http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-lawtalk/

Thanks again.

Doug
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

You might wanna try my other question " H1B: In CA, can employers charge employee for the H1B processing " ?

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ria,

I saw that. It is as much an immigration question as employment law. I don't handle immigration cases as a general rule. You might consider asking the question in out immigration law category---you will be more likely to get a response.

Have a good afternoon,

Doug
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Okay Sure.

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