The wage and hour lawyers at The Spitz Law Firm have identified and continue to identify the many tricks employers use in an attempt to cheat employees out of their rightfully earned wages and/or block their wage and hour or overtime claims.
Last week, employees everywhere, and especially in Ohio, scored a victory with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Boaz v. FedEx when the Court struck down an employer’s attempt to limit the amount of time an employee has to file a wage claim.
In Boaz, the Court reviewed this clause in an employment agreement:
To the extent the law allows an employee to bring legal action against Federal Express Corporation, I agree to bring that complaint within the time prescribed by law or 6 months from the date of the event forming the basis of my lawsuit, whichever expires first.
Back in 2009, Boaz sued FedEx for several wage and hour violations and violations of the Equal Pay Act for activity between 2004 and 2008. In response, FedEx moved to dismiss the complaint, citing the six-month limit in the employment agreement. The Court rejected FedEx’s argument, both as to Boaz’s claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) , as well as Boaz’s Equal Pay Act claims. As to the FLSA claims, the Court specifically honed in on the previously established rule of law that an employment agreement cannot be enforced to deprive an employee of his or her FLSA rights. Similarly, the Court held that the Equal Pay Act was presumed by Congress to be “folded” into the FLSA, therefore, preventing a shortening of the Act’s statute of limitations as well.
The Court’s holding effectively means that an employer cannot shorten the amount of time an employee has under federal law to file a wage and hour claim by putting a provision in an employment agreement. The Boaz case surely will not be the last of its kind and may even open the door to claims whereby employees were fired or not hired based on their refusal to sign employment agreements containing time-restrictions for filing wage and hour claims.
These tricks highlight the necessity of consulting a knowledgeable wage and hour attorneys even if you think that you don’t have a claim, but think something is not fair. If you believe that your employer is not paying you all of your wages for all of your lawfully earned overtime compensation at a rate of one and half times your normal wages as requires under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act or Ohio Fair Labor Standards Act, contact the attorneys at The Spitz Law Firm today for a free and confidential initial consultation. Or maybe you are being misclassified as an independent contractor. The wage and hour lawyers at The Spitz Law Firm will provide you with the best options for your overtime pay dispute situation. If you even think that you may be entitled to overtime pay that you are not being paid, call (216) 291-4744.
The materials available at this wage and hour law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Your best option is to contact an Ohio overtime attorney to obtain advice with respect to FLSA questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of The Spitz Law Firm or any individual attorney.