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  1. #1
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    Dec 2012
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    Default FLSA and Right to Get Paid for Hours Worked, Overtime

    What are the employees rights to get paid for work done that a company profits from?

    How does an employee enforce their rights under the Federal FLSA laws?

    For example, in Ross et al, V. Wolf Fire Protection, et al
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?sc...as_sdt=2&hl=en

    Wolf Fire Protection (www.wolffireprotection.com) James J. Wolf (president), and Timothy Strohmer (vice president)(aka "the Defendants") are alledged to have violated the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. 201 et seg., and Maryland wage and hour laws for essentially requiring employees to work for free, and by telling the employees that they were not going to get paid for any overtime they put in.

    When one of the plaintiffs confronted the defendent (Vice President of Operations Timothy Strohmer ) regarding that the FLSA entitling them to be paid for work that the employer benefited from, Strohmer called him 'a piece of shit' and promptly fired him on the spot.

    Maybe its just me, but how could a company stay in business that treats their own employees this way, and what 'customer' would want to hire a company like this?

    I bet Wolf Fire Protection walks away from this with nothing but a slap on the wrist. What rights does an employee have in such a case that is obviously such a flagrant disregard for the FLSA? Punitive damages?

    Would you consider employment with a company like wolf fire protection, knowing that they think they have the right to cheat you out of pay and overtime wages? If they will do this to their own employees, you can just imagine how they might try to cheat their customers who procure their 'services'

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Ross V. Wolf Fire Protection FLSA

    Quote Quoting alorra
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    Maybe its just me, but how could a company stay in business that treats their own employees this way,
    seriously? There is a huge company that has grown to be the largest employer in the world in 50 or so years that treats their employees like that yet they continue to grow every year.

    Companies contract with businesses like Wolf Fire Protection because they bid less on the work required. Money is the bottom line.

    Would you consider employment with a company like wolf fire protection, knowing that they think they have the right to cheat you out of pay and overtime wages?
    Me? No but many people cannot be so choosy in their work. They often accept the crap because the alternative doesn't put food on their tables.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Ross V. Wolf Fire Protection FLSA

    Does the FLSA allow plaintiffs to get punitive damages?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Ross V. Wolf Fire Protection FLSA

    In some situations, yes.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Ross V. Wolf Fire Protection FLSA

    I could be wrong, but I don't believe wage claims filed under the Federal FLSA ever provide punitives - at least, not to the employee. There are some states which do when filed under the state wage laws.

    Which is why you will see most of the posters here recommend filing with the state DOL instead of the Federal.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Ross V. Wolf Fire Protection FLSA

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    I could be wrong, but I don't believe wage claims filed under the Federal FLSA ever provide punitives - at least, not to the employee. There are some states which do when filed under the state wage laws.

    Which is why you will see most of the posters here recommend filing with the state DOL instead of the Federal.

    http://www.proskauer.com/files/News/...%20Suit-ca.pdf

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ross V. Wolf Fire Protection FLSA

    Yes - but that was a wrongful term claim, not a wage claim.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ross V. Wolf Fire Protection FLSA

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    Yes - but that was a wrongful term claim, not a wage claim.




    and....?

    while not disagreeing, OP asked the simple question:

    Does the FLSA allow plaintiffs to get punitive damages?
    I did not address it specifically to a wage claim but the larger issue of FLSA violations in total.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Ross V. Wolf Fire Protection FLSA

    Since her question had to do with "employees working for free" and did not progress beyond that, I interpreted her interest as being in wage claims.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ross V. Wolf Fire Protection FLSA

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    Since her question had to do with "employees working for free" and did not progress beyond that, I interpreted her interest as being in wage claims.
    There were two questions asked. The first, which you note but also the following:

    How does an employee enforce their rights under the Federal FLSA laws?
    I took that as a more encompassing question of the FLSA laws in total more than the more specific wage issue.


    but that is the problem when not dealing with specific situations and attempting to address hypothetical and general information questions.

    The fact the case cited involved both a wage issue as well as a retaliation issue doesn't do much to clear things up either.

    On October 12, 2010, Phillips sued the Defendants for failure to pay wages under the FLSA and Maryland Wage and Hour Law, retaliation under the FLSA, and violations of the Maryland Wage Payment and Collection Act. ECF No. 1. The other Plaintiffs joined the suit by filing consent to suit forms.[2]Id., Ex. 1.
    Either way, the OP has learned that concerning wage claims, punitive damages are not possible but in a retaliation issue, they can be.

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