The FairLaw Firm did it again! Yesterday it was a judgment against Greenstar Landscaping, Co. and today a judgment against Green Explosion, Inc.…
Earlier today, United States Magistrate Judge Lissette M. Reid entered a federal judgment against Green Explosion, Inc. and its owners, Libia C. Gomez, and Alejandro Gomez, for overtime wages and liquidated damages owed to a former employee in S.D. Florida Case No.: 1:21-CV-21024-REID. FairLaw Firm‘s client in this case used to work for Green Explosion, Inc., and she routinely worked more than 40 hours in a week. Our client claimed that Green Explosion, Inc. automatically deducted 30 minutes for a lunch break for each day that she worked, even for the days when our client did not take an uninterrupted 30-minute break. This practice of Green Explosion, Inc. automatically deducting 30 minutes for each day that its employees worked was likely a widespread problem, meaning that other employees were likely to also have been deprived of overtime pay that they earned.
Most lawsuits drag on for months or even years before they are resolved. But, since FairLaw Firm conducted a thorough investigation before filing a federal lawsuit for our client, and because of our high level of skill in presenting our case, we were able to convince Green Explosion, Inc., Libia C. Gomez, and Alejandro Gomez to make a formal offer (under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure) to pay our client every dollar and every penny of overtime that she was owed, plus an amount equal to the unpaid overtime wages that she claimed, to settle the case through the Court’s entry of a judgment against them. FairLaw Firm’s client accepted the offer, and after review of the offer by the presiding federal Magistrate Judges (U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth M. Reid), the District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered a federal judgment against Green Explosion, Inc., Libia C. Gomez, and Alejandro Gomez and in favor of our client. This judgment confirms what we and our client knew – that Green Explosion, Inc., Libia C. Gomez, and Alejandro Gomez were cheating this employee out of the overtime wages that she earned. We understand what it means to work overtime – the long hours, the time away from family, and the exhaustion felt at the end of the week – and are pleased to have been able to recover this money for our client.
FairLaw Firm is pleased to have been able to obtain for its client a 100% recovery – meaning that our client will be receiving 100% of the overtime wages she was owed plus 100% of the liquidated damages – so that our client received twice the amount of overtime she was owed. Although the offer that Green Explosion, Inc., Libia C. Gomez, and Alejandro Gomez made to our client states that it should not be considered an admission of liability, the District Court for the Southern District of Florida’s entry of judgment against them is a finding that they underpaid their employee.
Under a federal law known as the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), 29 U.S.C. §201, et seq., most employers are required to pay non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek an overtime wage that is one and one-half times their regular rate of pay. In other words, non-exempt employees who work overtime are supposed to be paid time and one-half. An example would be an employee who makes the current, Florida minimum wage of $10 per hour would have to receive at least $15 per hour for each overtime hour of work.
An employer who fails to timely pay overtime wages to its employee is required to pay that employee the unpaid or underpaid overtime wages earned, plus an equal amount as liquidated damages (a penalty), plus the employee’s attorneys’ fees and costs under the FLSA. 29 U.S.C. §216(b).