Settlement of Wage Claim under FLSA

The Fair Labor Standards Act permits settlements of claims for unpaid wages under the supervision of the Secretary of Labor. The Secretary has a form, under which employees acknowledge receipt of all wages due them and release all claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act arising from the failure to pay those wages.

In Dent v. Cox Communications Las Vegas, Inc., the employees signed U.S. DOL approved releases. Then Dent sued for more unpaid wages, but for a time period preceding the dates included in the DOL release. The Ninth Circuit held that the release covered only the payroll periods expressly covered in the DOL release and Dent was free to pursue earlier claims.