FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) – Court of “Competent” Jurisdiction

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay employees overtime pay, at a rate of time and a half, for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. See Section 207 of the Act. Pursuant to 29 U. S. C. §216(b), an action to recover overtime pay may be maintained in any Federal or State court of “competent” jurisdiction.

In which Florida State court, circuit or county, a claim may be brought, also known as the court’s statutory authority, typically depends on the amount in controversy as determined by the allegations set forth in the Complaint. These are the 2011 jurisdictional levels:

  • Circuit Civil: where the amount of damages sought is in excess of $15,000.
  • County Civil: where damages sought range from $.01 to $15,000 (In Miami-Dade County, where damages sought range from $.01 to $5,000, cases are assigned to the small claims division, with its own set of procedures including summary administration.)

Many individual (vs. class action) FLSA claims involve sums of less than $15,000.

Federal court does not have a minimum jurisdictional damage level for FLSA claims. In other words, regardless of the amount in controversy, any FLSA claim may be brought in Federal court. Moreover, Defendants who properly use 28 U.S.C. § 1441, are able to remove to Federal Court FLSA claims originally brought in state court. See, Breuer v. Jim’s Concrete of Brevard, Inc., 538 US 691 (2003).

For whatever reason, many Defendants prefer Federal court for FLSA cases.

We handle our FLSA Plaintiffs’ cases in Federal and State court.

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Contact us toll-free at 866-785-GALE or by email to learn your rights.

Jeffrey P. Gale, P.A. is a South Florida based law firm committed to the judicial system and to representing and obtaining justice for individuals – the poor, the injured, the forgotten, the voiceless, the defenseless and the damned, and to protecting the rights of such people from corporate and government oppression. We do not represent government, corporations or large business interests.

While prompt resolution of your legal matter is our goal, our approach is fundamentally different. Our clients are “people” and not “cases” or “files.” We take the time to build a relationship with our clients, realizing that only through meaningful interaction can we best serve their needs. In this manner, we have been able to best help those requiring legal representation.