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Focus on emotional distress damages in FLSA cases

In the workplace, and as regards the interaction between employers and employees, the relationship is symbiotic.

That is, each side needs the other and engages in a balancing act of give and take. Labor exchanged for wages. Time for food.

It's an interesting phenomenon, isn't it?

And while it is certainly true that both sides are firmly aligned on the same side when it comes to wanting to see their company flourish, it is equally the case that there is always an inherent tension operative at some level.

And, unsurprisingly, that tension sometimes brings conflict in the form of disputes focused upon various forms of alleged discrimination against workers. In some instances, employer/worker disagreements end up being hotly litigated in court, with potentially large state and federal damage claims in play.

A recent employment article now underscores what many employers are reasonably finding to be a new and material concern beyond claims alleging discriminatory workplace treatment.

Namely, that is employee charges that wage or hour claims filed under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act are followed up at the workplace by retaliatory employer behavior.

That is of course unlawful and, as noted in the above-cited article, more federal courts across the country are allowing aggrieved workers to collect money damages in such FLSA actions for emotional distress. Such recoveries are not capped by any maximum amount, as is the case for judgments secured in federal discrimination lawsuits.

The rising tide of expected lawsuits seeking emotional distress damages in FLSA-related actions alleging company retaliation is a marked concern for business enterprises, for obvious reasons.

Both employers and employees with questions or concerns regarding such matters might reasonably want to contact an experienced employment law firm for answers and guidance.

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