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Lawmakers Introduce New Bill to Strengthen Penalties for Wage Theft Violations

WASHINGTON D.C. — Democratic Senators recently introduced new legislation to stiffen penalties against businesses accused of committing wage theft against workers and other violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The proposed legislation comes as a response by the current administration’s policy to rollback Department of Labor regulations that would have increased the overtime pay threshold from around $23,000 per year to over $47,000 per year for salaried workers.

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, sponsored The Wage Theft Prevention and Wage Recovery Act with Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Al Franken of Minnesota while Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Bobby Scott of Virginia sponsored a corresponding version in the House of Representatives. Lawmakers introduced similar legislation the previous year but were unsuccessful in advancing the bill through both Houses of Congress and onto the White House.

The Act would drastically increase the penalties against employers determined to be in violation of the FLSA, including raising the penalty for first time wage theft violations from $1,100 to $2,000 per incident. Furthermore, subsequent wage theft violations would result in even stiffer penalties, up to $10,000 for subsequent overtime pay violations.

Furthermore, The Act would double the damages wage theft victims would receive as compensation for unpaid income. Currently, unpaid overtime lawsuit plaintiffs can receive all their back pay with interest and liquidated damages equal to the unpaid income. The Act would effectively double these liquidated damages as an even greater deterrent to stiffing workers on their pay.

The Act would also triple the damages wage theft victims can receive if retaliated against for confronting their employer about wage theft or filing a formal lawsuit in court. The FLSA defines these as “protected actions” and plaintiffs may be entitled to double back pay, reinstatement with seniority and other damages. The Act would tripple these damages and make it easier for plaintiffs to join class action suits to recover their lost wages and hold their employers responsible.

Unpaid Overtime Lawsuit

Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you believe that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.

Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.

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