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Minnesota state court allows common law claim for unpaid wages

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

A federal court in Minnesota has allowed a lawsuit to proceed based on the concept that unpaid time spent at work can be the basis for an unjust enrichment wage claim.

Recent case: Jennifer taught classes at a Minnesota fitness club. She claimed she had to show up early to set up and was required to clean up after the class ended. Although Jennifer was paid on an hourly basis, she claimed that extra work, although expected, was never paid.

The court said she could sue for the unpaid time under Minnesota common law, which recognizes an action for unjust enrichment. If the employer benefited from work performed and the employee was not paid, that could unjustly enrich the employer. Jennifer’s case now proceeds. (Roth v. Life Time Fitness, DC MN, 2017)

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