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What is the time frame to file a civil suit against an employer over unpaid wages

New York |
Attorney answers 3


Unfortunately your question is unclear- how long has it been since you were unpaid; what type of wages were unpaid; was a demand for same made or a complaint filed with the state. You should consult directly with counsel.


Six years under NY Labor Law


A person can seek redress for unpaid wages by one of several methods. One such method is to file a civil law suit.

If a person decides to file a lawsuit, it is important to remain mindful of the applicable statute of limitations to assert a claim for unpaid wages. Under state law (New York Labor Law), the statute of limitations is six years. Under federal law (Fair Labor Standards Act), the statute of limitations is two years, unless there was a "willful" omission to pay wages, in which case the statute of limitations is three years.

Depending upon the specific circumstances of a given case, it may be appropriate to file a lawsuit that asserts a claim for unpaid wages under (a) state law, (b) federal law or (c) both state law and federal law.

DISCLAIMER - Ms. Okoronkwo’s response does not create an attorney-client relationship. The response is generalized. Its intended purpose is strictly educational. Ms. Okoronkwo’s perspective is that, when a reader has a legal question of his or her own, it is prudent for that reader to consult an attorney, who is available to (1) evaluate the specific facts and circumstances of the situation, (2) to review documents and (3) to provide case specific legal advice.

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