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Librarians Bring Wage and Hour Suit for Unpaid Wages


There are many reasons an employee might file a lawsuit to claim unpaid wages. The most commonly discussed instances are those in which employers fail to pay employees minimum wage and overtime by misclassifying the employees or by tampering with their time sheets. There are other reasons, however, that an employee might feel the need to file a lawsuit in order to recover wages they are owed.

In a recent case in New Jersey, some librarians have allegedly not been receiving the raise in wages they were promised. Unfortunately, the librarians are caught in a battle between the library’s Board of Trustees on one end, and the municipal government and the Raritan mayor on the other end. Nor is this the first time the library has found itself in a legal battle with the government this year.

Earlier in 2013, there was a dispute regarding exactly how much money the library should be able to hold onto in bank accounts. At the center of the dispute was a 2010 law, which requires libraries to give back funds that exceed 20 percent of GOE for tax relief purposes. The government officials accused the library of trying to hide the money. The librarian officials, on the other hand, insist that they are planning on using the money for renovations to a building, which they are currently in the midst of planning.

While this legal battle between the library and the government rages on, there are seven library employees who wereallegedly promised that they would receive raises, effective January 2013. Those seven employees still have yet to see any increase to their paychecks. Among these employees are the library’s Director, Assistant Director, bookkeeper, and children’s librarian.

Initially, the library director, Mary J. Pease, was promised a salary of $56,000, but a vote of the Burough Council in June approved a salary of only $52,000. She has not yet received either raise. The hourly employees of the library were promised an increase in wages of one dollar per hour. They are also still waiting on this pay raise.

The lawsuit was filed on July 1 in the Superior Court of Somerville, six months to the day after the employees were supposed to have begun receiving their higher wages. According to the plaintiffs in the case, the lawsuit is their last resort. Wage and hour lawsuits can be lengthy and the employees say they tried in vain to get their raises before resorting to legal means. Government officials, however, were allegedly unresponsive to the employees’ pleas for their raises. Now they feel that a lawsuit is their only chance of ever receiving the wages they were promised.

It seems out of place for an employee of the government to file a wage and hour lawsuit when it is the government which puts in place laws to protect workers in the state and country. However, it is not as uncommon as one might think for civil servants to file wage and hour lawsuits. Such lawsuits can include failure to get paid for mandatory breaks, tampering with time cards, or requiring employees to work overtime without the proper overtime compensation of one and one-half times their normal hourly rate.

The Chicago overtime lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against governements and large corporations such as Hyatt Hotels, Walmart and other companies for misclassifying employees as managers, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.

The Illinois overtime attorneys at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. We have a team of overtime attorneys who focus on nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Schaumburg and Mount Prospect. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Kane and Cook Counties.

Our River Forest and La Grange overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.

The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.