What Are Common Misconceptions about a Wage and Hour Case?

Interviewer: We’ve probably covered a lot of them, but what are some of the top misconceptions people have when they first talk to you about filing a case like this?

Michael: We discussed a little bit before that if somebody’s on a salary, they think that they’re not entitled to overtime.  Some of the other misconceptions, like we just discussed, undocumented workers sometimes feel that they wouldn’t be entitled to get overtime.

We have to sit down with them, and spend some time with them, and explain the law, and give them assurances that their status is not something that gets questioned during the pendency of the litigation.  I would say that those are two misconceptions that we do come across from time to time.

Can You Still File a Case If You Are Collecting Unemployment?

Interviewer: What about if someone has been fired and they have other work or if they collect unemployment.  Would that negate their ability to file a case?

Michael: No.  No, they would still be entitled to file a case.  At the end of the case, once they get a recovery, some of the money that they recover gets taxed because it is wages, and some of it is not taxed because it’s liquidated damages. Liquidated damages are typically not taxable, so the taxable portion would get reported to the government via a W-2.

I imagine Unemployment could find out about it and ask for some of the money back, but that’s not something that’s in our purview.  We notify all of our clients that we’re not accountants, and whatever accounting issues, they would have to speak to their own accountants.

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