Can I file an unpaid overtime suit in federal court myself until I find an attorney?

I have nearly 1600 hours of unpaid overtime dating back to beginning 2007. I've been on a slippery sloap with my employer trying to get the overtime paid but I am repeatedly met with retaliation efforts which has now parlayed the matter into issues covered by EEOC. Currently my employer is withholding my overtime wages because I refuse to sign a general release of all claims, which would ordinarily be no problem, but I can't walk away from the retaliation I've been subjected to...from unlawful wage garnishment to threats of losing my job followed by surveillance. Not to mention my right to pursue liquidated damages and a third year history as my supervisor knew of the overtime, permitted it, and did not allow me to claim it. When I refused to sign, the corporate attorney claimed he must "investigate" the hours (yes, again). And although I have proof, they've never asked for it. The clock is ticking, the attorneys I've talked to so far seem to be only interested in pursuing only the payment of the OT hours as it is a case already won in light of the documented proof I have. At a 40% take, this will be a quick and effortless, fat paycheck for an attorney...while I am left without full recourse and compensation. I need to get this thing filed with the federal court so I can stop the clock while my employer continues to erode the months of OT away.

0 answers  |  asked Jun 11, 2010 03:38 AM [EST]  |  applies to Georgia

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