We recently helped an employee recover $87,000 in an unpaid wages case. In July 2015, the employee began working for a small-non-profit organization in Washington, DC. On average, she worked 81 hours every two weeks. However, the employer paid her only $6.25 per hour, which was far less than the minimum wage. In October 2015, the employee filed a claim for unpaid wages with the DC Office of Wage and Hour. Shortly thereafter, the employer confronted the employee and threatened to fire her if she didn’t withdraw her claim. She refused, and the employer fired her.
Senior Counsel Christina Quashie and Associate Attorney Nicole Behrman worked on the case. Christina represented the employee at a hearing before the DC Office of Administrative Hearings. The employer claimed the employee wasn’t entitled to minimum wage because she was a “volunteer,” not an employee. Christina established that the employee was entitled to the minimum wage, that the employer owed her $21,783.50 in unpaid wages, and that the employer fired her because she filed a wage claim.
The administrative judge agreed and held that the employer violated the DC Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014. The judge concluded that the employer failed to pay the minimum wage and retaliated against the employee. The judge awarded the employee her unpaid wages as well as maximum liquidated damages allowed under the law. The total award was $87,134.00.
What is the DC Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act?
The DC Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014 (the “Act”) is a law that applies to DC employers. The Act sets forth various requirements, including that employers must pay all earned wages on regular pay days. The Act also prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for complaining about unpaid wages. An employee who proves his/her employer violated the Act may be able to recover unpaid wages, liquidated damages of up to three times the amount of unpaid wages, penalties, and attorney’s fees and litigation costs.
Do you have a claim for unpaid wages?
Alan Lescht and Associates, P.C., handles cases involving unpaid overtime, unpaid commissions, minimum wage violations, and other wage and hour disputes. We represent federal government employees around the world, as well as state and local government and private-sector employees in Washington, DC, Maryland, and northern Virginia. Contact us today if you need legal services in an employment-related matter.