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My exemployer did not pay overtime. I am owed it. I read about liquidated damages. What are they?

Los Angeles, CA |

My exemployer has agreed to pay me for the overtime I worked but i read about liquidated damages plus my overtime pay. How can I get the liquidated damages and my overtime pay? How much are the liquidated damages and how calculated?

Attorney Answers 4


Under Labor Code 201-203, when you separate from your employer, you are entitled to one day's pay as a penalty for each day late up to 30 days. If your employer terminates you, your final wages, including accrued personal time off or vacation, are due immediately. If you resign, then your wages, including accrued personal time off or vacation, is due within three (3) days.

You can file a FREE on wage complaint online with Division of Labor Standards Enforcement:

Otherwise, you can hire an employment attorney and you may be able to recover your reasonable attorney's fees under Labor Code 218.5.

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Liquidated damages apply when the amount of wages you received are insufficient to pay at least minimum wage for all the hours worked. The liquidated damages are equal to minimum wage (currently $8.00 an hour) for every hour worked.

They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.

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While I agree with counsel, liquidated damages is more consistent with penalties awarded under federal wage and hour laws (FLSA).

The FLSA provides that a successful employee is usually entitled to double the amount of unpaid back wages, called "liquidated damages." Any employer who violates the FLSA shall be liable to the employee or employees affected in the amount of their unpaid minimum wages, or their unpaid overtime compensation, as the case may be, and in an additional equal amount as liquidated damages.

Please check the law of your state

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Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employees can recover liquidated damages in addition to the unpaid overtime due. Liquidated damages are a form of monetary compensation, and are generally equal to the amount of unpaid overtime. California does not have a liquidated damages law that provides for double recovery. Good luck!

This response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not all facts are known. Any information provided to you here is not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. If you would like additional information based on this response, please contact my office at 408-289-1701 to schedule a free consultation.

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