Overtime compensation; failure to pay; penalties; collection proceedings; unclaimed awards; deposit of funds
Section 1B. Any employer or the officer or agent of any corporation who pays or agrees to pay to any employee less than the overtime rate of compensation required by section one A shall have violated this section and shall be punished or shall be subject to a civil citation or order as provided in section 27C of chapter 149, and each week in which such employee is paid less than such overtime rate of compensation and each employee so paid less, shall constitute a separate offense. In addition, if a person is paid by an employer less than such overtime rate of compensation, the person may institute and prosecute in his own name and on his own behalf, or for himself and for others similarly situated, a civil action for injunctive relief, for any damages incurred, and for the full amount of the overtime rate of compensation less any amount actually paid to him by the employer. An agreement between the person and the employer to work for less than the overtime rate of compensation shall not be a defense to such action. An employee so aggrieved who prevails in such an action shall be awarded treble damages, as liquidated damages, for lost overtime compensation and shall also be awarded the costs of the litigation and reasonable attorneys’ fees. At the request of any employee paid less than such overtime rate of compensation, the attorney general may take an assignment of such wage claim in trust for the assigning employee and may bring any legal action necessary to collect such claim, and the employer shall be required to pay the costs and such reasonable attorney’s fees as may be allowed by the court. The attorney general shall not be required to pay a filing fee in connection with any such action.
In any action or administrative proceeding by an employee or the commissioner instituted upon such a wage claim in which the employee prevails and the commissioner thereafter in possession of the resulting award is unable after a reasonable search to locate the employee or to identify and locate the employee’s successor in interest, the commissioner shall, upon expiration of one year from the date of said award, deposit the funds from any such award, less costs and reasonable attorney’s fees where applicable, in the General Fund.