It is illegal for employers to retaliate against an employee for participating in a legal proceeding involving a violation of the overtime pay laws set forth by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). An employee's participation may include filing a complaint or lawsuit for unpaid overtime, or testifying or planning to testify in an overtime lawsuit. An employer who retaliates or discriminates against an employee may be subject to fines or even criminal prosecution, and the affected employee may be entitled to punitive damages. In addition, an anti-retaliation case may be brought against individuals or companies who have retaliated against their employees.
Retaliatory acts on the part of an employer may include:
- Firing an employee who has made an FLSA claim
- Blacklisting employees who made FLSA claims
- Refusing to hire applicants who made FLSA claims at another job
- Firing relatives of the employee who made the FLSA claim
- Reducing job responsibilities
- Assigning the employee to unpopular job duties or shifts
- Disproportionally disciplining the employee
- Reducing job performance evaluations
- Refusing a raise that is regularly given
- Withholding wages
If your employer has retaliated against you in any way for participating in an overtime lawsuit, you should inform an attorney immediately. He or she can advise you about how to handle the situation so that your legal rights are protected and help you recover any additional compensation that may be available to you.