The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows you to go back and collect 2 years of back wages for the nonpayment of overtime or minimum wage unless the employer’s actions are “willful” in which case you can go back 3 years.
In the case of Hoenninger v. Leasing Enters, (2020) the employee’ appealed the trial judges finding that the restaurant employer’s violation of the FLSA was not “willful” for purposes of extending the time for back pay to three years. The employee. argued that the employer’s violation was “willful” when it continued the challenged tip policy even after a district court granted partial summary judgement finding the policy illegal. However, the Fifth Circuit held that the district court not wrong when the trial judge decided that the violation was not willful. This case shows how important it is that you seek legal representation immediately when you think you are not being paid properly. Paying tips under the FLSA is complicated and many restaurant works are not being paid properly, but time limits run immediately from the time that your employer does not properly pay you.