Sec. 9 . Any employer who violates the provisions of section 4 of this chapter shall be liable to the employee or employees affected in the amount of their unpaid minimum wages and in an equal additional amount as liquidated damages. Action to recover such liability may be maintained within three (3) years after the cause of action therefor arises in the circuit or superior court of the county in which the services out of which the claim arises were performed or in which the defendant resides or transacts business. Such action may be brought by any one (1) or more employees for and on behalf of himself or themselves and all other employees of the same employer who are similarly situated. No employee shall be a party plaintiff to any such action unless he gives his consent in writing to become such a party and such consent is filed in the court in which such action is brought. The court in such action shall, in addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiffs, allow recovery of a reasonable attorney's fee and costs of the action. No contract or agreement between the employee and the employer nor any acceptance of a lesser wage by the employee shall be a defense to the action.
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