When You Win

In short, a successful plaintiff is normally entitled to:

(1) unpaid overtime wages;

(2) an additional equal amount as liquidated damages;

(3) attorneys’ fees; and

(4) costs for themselves and all those similarly situated.

The FLSA provides that a successful employee is usually entitled to double the amount of unpaid back wages, called “liquidated damages.” Essentially, liquidated damages are in lieu of interest. An employer can avoid paying liquidated damages only if it shows that it acted in good faith and that it had a reasonable basis to believe that it need not pay overtime. “Good faith” has a special meaning under the FLSA, and requires that employers have made specific investigation of the application of the FLSA to particular types of employees. Liquidated damages are the rule, not the exception. Employees are normally entitled to liquidated damages.