November 19, 2013 — A U.S. District Court (N.D.Tex.) doubled a jury’s award for the Tran Law Firm’s clients after a jury verdict. See Reid, et al, v. Timeless Restaurants, Inc. d/b/a Denny’s, 3:09-cv-02481, Dkt. No. 149. The jury had previously awarded damages for unpaid minimum wages and unpaid overtime to a group of employees of a Denny’s franchise in Grapevine, Texas. After the verdict, both sides submitted legal briefings on the issue of whether or not liquidated damage should be awarded. The court carefully reviewed the legal briefs and after several weeks, the court issued a ruling and judgment on the case this week.
The Court found that the employer failed to prove a good faith basis for believing that its payroll practices were lawful, with the result that the plaintiffs were entitled to their actual unpaid wages and an additional equal amount as liquidated damages. This ruling was required by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which provides that employees who sue to recover unpaid minimum wage or overtime pay are entitled to twice the amount unlawfully withheld by the employer, unless the employer proves a good faith basis for believing that it was in compliance with the law.