Can you sue a former employer for violating the minimum wage law?

UPDATED: Jan 26, 2012

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Can you sue a former employer for violating the minimum wage law?

I used to work at a restaurant where I was paid less than the minimum wage. I only worked there for 2 months until I found out that what they are doing is illegal. I was paid about $1.50 an hour and was guaranteed tip to cover such low pay-per-hour rate. The tip amount were nowhere near to cover even the minimum wage in the area. After taking a careful look at my pay stubs, I found out that they have been reporting as if I have worked less hours and was paid $5 an hour instead of the actual $1.50. Is it possible for me to sue this employer?

Asked on January 26, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can sue a former employer for violations of the Fair Labor Standard Act or other wage laws, such as for a failure to pay minimum wage. You would be entitled to the money you should have received, plus potentially additional compensation and attorney's fees. It would be worthwhile to consult with an employment law attorney--many provide free initial consultations--to evaluate your case and what it might be worth.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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