The recent shutdown of the federal government has left thousands of federal employees in difficult and unfair positions. In addition, many of those workers were required to work knowing they would not be paid by the regularly scheduled pay date for that work. While it is likely that the federal government will ultimately pay them for that work when the government re-opens, it is important for those workers to know that many of them are due additional money because of the late payments.
Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the failure to pay an employee for work performed by the regularly scheduled pay date is considered a failure to pay, even if the employer pays the wages in full after the scheduled pay date. This failure to pay on time is considered a minimum wage violation for FLSA non-exempt employees (FLSA non-exempt employees are those that are generally entitled to overtime wages and minimum wage protections). This late pay penalty applies to government and private sector employees alike.
Those late paid employees are generally owed additional money in the amount of $7.25 per hour worked for each week in which they were not paid on time. That penalty is known as “liquidated damages.” So, when the late regular wages are eventually paid, an employee who worked 40 hours per week is likely owed $290 for each week that the government or private employer failed to pay the regular wages owed on time. In addition to the minimum wage liquidated damages penalties, FLSA non-exempt employees who worked overtime hours are due additional money for the overtime work that was not paid on time.
This penalty provision for government employees was confirmed when FLSA non-exempt employees from the 2013 federal government shutdown worked but were not paid after the scheduled pay date for that work. That case is named Donald Martin, Jr. v. the United States, and can be read here: https://ecf.cofc.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2013cv0834-160-0.
The employment law attorneys at Baron & Budd have represented thousands of employees throughout the United States. They are known and respected for their results and experience in the field of employment law. If you think that your employer might not be paying you all wages you are owed, including tips, overtime wages, or minimum wages, please contact us at 866-238-4143 or complete our contact form for a free and confidential case evaluation. There is no out of pocket cost to you for a consultation to learn more about your state or federal employment protections.