The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay the minimum wage and the correct amount of any overtime. Violate the law and you’ll have to pay double what you owe—unless you can show you acted in good faith and with the reasonable belief that you were following the law.
That’s a tough sell unless you can show you followed legal advice.
Recent case: Alejandra Ramos and Maria Castro worked as housekeepers and child care providers for a family. Their employer paid less than minimum wage and didn’t keep accurate records of the hours the women worked.
They sued for back wages. The court said unless their employer could show it thought it was following the law and acting in good faith, the employees would be due double damages. (Ramos & Castro v. Hoyle & Perales, No. 08-21809, SD FL, 2009)
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