Why it is Better for Employees to Pursue Unpaid Wage Claims By Filing a Federal Lawsuit Instead of the DOL
Pursuing unpaid wage claims can be a daunting and overwhelming task for employees, especially if they are not sure where to turn for help. In many cases, employees may be tempted to file their claims with the Department of Labor (DOL), believing that this is the best way to get the wages they are owed. However, with the assistance of an experienced workers-rights attorney, there are several reasons why it may be better for employees to pursue unpaid wage claims by filing a federal lawsuit instead.
The Advantages of Filing a Federal Lawsuit for Unpaid Wages
First, pursuing unpaid wage claims by filing a federal lawsuit allows employees to seek a wider range of damages than they would be able to through the DOL. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees who are successful in their claims are entitled to recover not only their unpaid wages, but also liquidated damages (i.e. “double damages”), plus an award of attorneys’ fees to the attorneys who represented the workers. In contrast, the DOL usually only asks that an employer pay the wages that are owed, and the DOL does not generally seek an award of liquidated damages (i.e. “double damages”) or attorneys’ fees.
Second, filing a federal lawsuit can provide employees with more control over their claims. When an employee files a claim with the DOL, the agency is responsible for investigating the claim and determining whether the employer has violated the law. This can be a slow and uncertain process, and the outcome is largely out of the employee’s hands. In contrast, when an employee files a federal lawsuit, they are in control of their own case and can decide how to pursue it. This can give employees a greater sense of empowerment and can increase the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Third, filing a federal lawsuit can be a more efficient way to resolve unpaid wage claims. The DOL is responsible for investigating and enforcing a wide range of labor laws, which can make it difficult for the agency to give individual claims the attention they deserve. In addition, the DOL is often underfunded and understaffed, which can further delay the resolution of claims. In contrast, when an employee files a federal lawsuit, the case is handled by a judge who is focused solely on that case. This can speed up the resolution of the claim and can help ensure that the employee gets a timely and fair resolution.
Overall, while filing a claim with the DOL can be a useful option for some employees, there are several reasons why it may be better for employees to pursue unpaid wage claims by filing a federal lawsuit instead. By doing so, employees can seek a wider range of damages, have more control over their claims, and achieve a more efficient resolution of their cases. If you are an employee who is owed unpaid wages, it is important to consult with an experienced employment law attorney like the ones at Herrmann Law who can help you understand your rights and options and can assist you in pursuing your claim in the most effective way possible.
Call the Employee Rights Attorneys at Herrmann Law Today
For more information, call the Employee Rights attorneys at Herrmann Law. If you think that your employer has violated your rights as an employee, call us. We are proven, experienced, employee-focused attorneys representing workers across the United States in all types of workplace disputes. Use our Online Contact page or call us at (817) 479-9229. We are more than just a law firm for employees – we are an employee’s fiercest advocate, equipping employees with the legal representation needed to achieve the best result possible.