Overtime Claims Can Benefit From Testimony And Documents Obtained In Collateral Proceedings
Receiving unpaid overtime case referrals from other attorneys, especially workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys, is always much appreciated. I have found that while evaluating a wage loss claim, workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys (and their respective staffs) are keen on analyzing the wages – paid and unpaid – earned by their clients. To add a benefit to these clients, simply check to see whether they receive minimum wages and/or overtime pay while performing this wage loss analysis.
Then, while litigating a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim, and if you even suspect that wage theft has occurred – whether because an employee did not receive the minimum wage (often resulting from being misclassified as an independent contractor) or because the employee was not paid the overtime wages they earned, weave some additional questions into your depositions of key company personnel: explore the company’s position or policy on overtime pay; ask about timekeeping and record keeping policies and practices; inquire whether wages were withheld for any reason; and find out about any policy of disallowing overtime wages due to the failure to receive pre-approval for overtime or refusing to pay for work done remotely. You never know how these questions are going to answered (or maybe you do), and your client may later thank you for delving into these areas of inquiry.
How perfect it would be to have an employer locked into sworn testimony taken on behalf of an employee, in an unsuspecting workers’ compensation or personal injury case… and then using that testimony to establish yet another claim. Plus, in referring an overtime or minimum wage claim, you have increased the possibility that your (now) mutual client will recover more money – that was already earned – without much effort, and help to establish your participation fee.
In addition, the wage records gathered in these proceedings – whether workers’ compensation or personal injury cases – are the same types of time and payment records considered in connection with evaluating and pursuing an unpaid overtime or minimum wage violation case.
These types of forward-thinking litigation tactics can go a long way.