Established 1958 ~ Hardball Business Litigation & Complex Negotiations

The District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Holds Two-Year Statute of Limitations Applicable to Plaintiff’s FLSA Claim for Unpaid Overtime

Plaintiff’s claims stemmed from unpaid overtime wages she allegedly was entitled to during her employment at Troy Construction (Troy) in 2013. Stone v. Troy Constr., LLC, No. 3:14cv306 2018 U.S. LEXIS 50232 (M.D. Pa. 2018). The critical question was whether a two-year or three-year statute of limitation would apply. The statute of limitations provides a set amount of time for the injured party to commence an action to recover damages for the alleged injury. The Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) provides the plaintiff with two possible statute of limitations. The usual statute limitations for FLSA claims is two-years, but if the plaintiff sufficiently pleads a willful violation of the FLSA, the statute of limitation can be extended to three years. A plaintiff can sufficiently plead a willful violation if they provide facts and evidence to allow a factfinder to reasonably conclude that the employer “knew or showed reckless disregard for the matter of whether its conduct was prohibited by the statute.” The willful violation standard is not an easy standard to meet. Employers have found not to be acting willfully when they act reasonably in determining its legal obligation. For example, a court has found that an employer did not willfully violate the FLSA when, based on an incorrect interpretation of the FLSA, it instructed its employees not to fill out time cards for more than 40 hours.

In this matter, the Court determined that the plaintiff’s complaint did not offer facts to support her claim that Troy willfully violated the FLSA. Without sufficient facts to support her willful allegation, the two-year stature of limitations applied to Plaintiff’s claim. As the last cause of action that could give rise to a FLSA violation occurred outside of the two-year limitations period, the plaintiff’s FLSA claim was dismissed.

If you suspect that you have been wrongfully denied overtime pay, you may have a valid claim. Schedule a consultation with a Philadelphia overtime dispute lawyer at the Law Office of Sidkoff, Pincus & Green P.C. by calling 215-574-0600 to discuss your legal options or contact us online today.