Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Aug 5, 2019

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If you’re job has been misclassified or your employer has denied overtime and you’re thinking about filing a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawsuit, it’s important to understand how FLSA lawsuits are filed and what information your wage and hour lawyer needs to investigate your FLSA claim or FLSA lawsuit. Our wage and hour lawyer tells you what you need to know.

FLSA Lawsuits: How Are They Filed?

Derek Braslow, a Pennsylvania wage and hour attorney who assists misclassified employees in collecting unpaid overtime, work performed “off the clock” and other compensation, explained how FLSA lawsuits are generally filed:

FLSA lawsuits are filed as a “collective action,” which is similar to a class action, but only includes those employees who specifically express their desire to be part of the litigation. Class action suits, on the other hand, include all possibly affected persons unless they specifically express their desire not to be part of the litigation. Similar to a class action though, these FLSA collective claims allow many employees to come together in one lawsuit and enable a large group of employees who are injured by the same illegal conduct to have all their claims joined together.

He says that’s important in situations which involve hundreds, or potentially thousands, of class members or employees because if each person brought only their own lost wages individually, it would probably be too small to bring to suit. However, he also says that when you combine everyone’s individual claim in a collective action, individual employees themselves can be more successful in receiving compensation caused by the employer’s illegal conduct.

What Information Is Needed To File An FLSA Lawsuit?

Braslow identified all of the information that he would need to begin evaluating a potential FLSA lawsuit:

In order to begin the evaluation of a potential case, we would need information and possibly documentation regarding the name, location and size of your employer, your job title, description and duties, your hourly wage or salary and the number of hours worked weekly, the amount of lost wages, the number of similar employees – those employees with similar duties – and a description of the employer’s practice as it pertains to the unpaid wages or unpaid overtime.

He says that if he believes that moving forward with litigation against your employer is possible after the initial meeting, then he would try to collect more detailed information and documentation such as copies of paychecks, time sheets, employer policies/manuals and things of that nature. He added, “Of course, we would try to meet with you in person, if possible, to discuss the involvement and cooperation required – to make sure you fully understand the process.”

If your job has been misclassified, you’ve performed work “off the clock” or you’ve been wrongly deprived of wages or overtime pay for any reason, contact an experienced wage and hour attorney to find out what your FLSA wage and hour rights are and to evaluate your options of filing an FLSA lawsuit to recover what is rightfully yours.