If you are considering filing a lawsuit against your employer for a wage and hour violation under Kansas or Missouri state law or under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), it is wise to seek the advice of a skilled and experienced employment attorney who routinely handles wage and hour litigation. Filing a lawsuit under the FLSA or for a Kansas wage and hour violation is a complicated matter that should not be done without the advice and assistance of a skilled and experienced professional.
If you are a member of a union, you may have rights in addition to filing a complaint with the state or federal department of labor, or filing a lawsuit. This is something you should discuss with your wage and hour attorney, as different unions provide different protections and remedies. There may be strategic considerations that impact which alternative you should choose, as well as when and where to file.
If, after meeting with your attorney, you decide that filing a lawsuit is necessary, your attorney will prepare a Complaint. This is the way a lawsuit is formally initiated. It provides an overview of your claims against the defendants, who may include your employer, former employer and, potentially, individual defendants. Your attorney will advise you on whether you should file your Complaint in state or federal court, as there are benefits and drawbacks to each. Other times, due to the nature of the claims you are presenting, you may not have a choice.
Your attorney will prepare and file the Complaint, and will have it served on the defendants. This is the process by which the defendants are formally notified that a lawsuit has been filed against them and that they have been sued.
A few months after the lawsuit has been filed, the attorneys will exchange Discovery. Discovery usually includes a series of written questions you will be asked to answer. You may also be asked to provide written documents to the other side. Your attorney will work through this process with you.
Once you have answered the written questions, the lawyers will schedule and conduct Depositions. In a deposition, the lawyers ask witnesses questions under oath. The deposition usually takes place at one of the lawyer's offices. Your lawyer will ask questions of the defendants and their witnesses, and lawyers for the defendants will ask you questions. Your attorney will meet with you before the deposition to prepare you, and will be with you during the entire process.
Once discovery is complete, the judge will likely send the case to some kind of alternative dispute resolution, which could include negotiations or mediation and, in certain limited circumstances, arbitration. Whatever form it takes, the attorneys will attempt to settle the case. Your attorney will never resolve your case without first discussing it with you to receive your approval.
If attempts at resolution are unsuccessful, your case will be set for trial. Trial is an entire subject unto itself. But rest assured that your wage and hour attorney will explain the entire process to you, and that you will be in frequent with your lawyer before, during, and after the trial.
Statistically, less than 10% of cases nationally go to trial. So while the likelihood of going to trial is low, a good lawyer prepares every case as if it will be tried. This is the best way to achieve a positive resolution.
If you believe that you have a claim for a wage and hour violation, or if you have questions about your rights under the FLSA or Kansas wage and hour laws, contact the experienced employment law attorneys at Brady & Associates today.