I spoke to the US DOL and they told me that NJ DOL had to finish their investigation before the US DOL could get involved. Is that true? We'd like to get liquidated damages on their claims but from what I understand, only the Secretary of Labor can do that (NJ can't?). We've tried finding a good lawyer for this but every one seems to be too busy to take the case. We'd like to pursue wrongful discharge too. Any help would be appreciated.
PS - The lawyers I spoke to said we have a case, they were either too booked up to take it, or represent employers and not employees.
Generally lawyers who tell you that you have a case but they are to busy, are really telling you that your case is a low value case that will use their resources with a large risk that they may not get their money back or the case will not produce a large enough profit to warrant their time. The US DOL can require you to wait until the DOL NJ finishes their investigation. The NJ DOL once they finish the investigation will either agree to take the case and prosecute it or will give you a right to sue. It is unlikely that the US DOL will prosecute the case once NJ DOL issues a right to sue letter. In the majority of cases the state DOL will simply issue a right to sue. Given the response you have had from attorneys, you will likely have to hire an employment attorney and pay their hourly rate to represent you--in that way you are the ones taking the risk not the attorney--and you will likely find an attorney who will take the case.
Hope this helps. All the best.
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