FairLaw Firm is happy to brag about a recent result it obtained for an employer client in which it obtained dismissal of a claim under the EPSLA for alleged unpaid sick leave wages. This dismissal was the result of pre-suit strategy, an understanding client, and the strategy employed during the litigation.
During the summer of 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, a client of FairLaw Firm received a letter from a local law firm demanding payment for unpaid sick leave wages, liquidated damages, attorneys’ fees, and for retaliation damages from a disgruntled employee. The employee was out of work for a few days, claiming to be concerned about having coronavirus, and returned to work following the receipt of negative test results. The FairLaw Firm advised its client to calculate the amount of sick leave wages owed according to the EPSLA, and to offer an additional sum to satisfy any claim for liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees in order to moot the claim. Based on the amount involved, it was basically cheaper to pay some money now than to defend a claim later. Despite the client sending out a check for the amount that could have been owed in EPSLA sick leave wages and offering an additional sum for the liquidated damages and attorneys’ fees, the former employee nonetheless filed a lawsuit that included a claim claim his alleged unpaid sick leave wages, liquidated damages, and attorneys’ fees under the EPSLA – which is enforced as a minimum wage violation under the FLSA.
FairLaw Firm‘s client authorized the firm to then make a formal offer as authorized by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to the disgruntled employee and to then ask that the federal District Judge not only dismiss the claim for EPSLA sick leave wages as moot but to also strike the claim for attorneys’ fees sought by the former employee’s lawyer. After a full round of briefing, the District Judge not dismissed the claim for sick leave wages and liquidated damages and determined that no attorneys’ fees were due. The District Judge based his decision on the pre-suit offers and the in-suit offer, even in when the former employee argued that the offers did not fully compensate him for the sick leave wages owed.
While the facts of every case are different, the recently entered Order reflects a situation in which FairLaw Firm’s advice, counseling, and litigation skills resulted in a favorable outcome for an employer/client.