Why Are Wage & Hour Case Filings Coming in Staggering Numbers?
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 has long been responsible for setting the minimum wage (currently $7.25 per hour), guaranteeing overtime wages, and establishing record keeping practices and regulations. Attorneys have been flocking to wage and hour law suits in staggering numbers over the past 6 years due to the financial incentive they bring; they are easier to prove than discrimination cases and almost guarantee a win for the Attorney, as any violation no matter how small will result in a reasonable attorney’s fee award. As recently demonstrated in a case in which an employee was awarded $6,000+ in unpaid overtime wages, and the attorney was awarded $125,000+ in fees and costs.
Since 2000, there has been a 438% rise in the number of cases filed. The most common have been sighting an employer for not paying all hours worked and for the misclassification of employees as exempt from overtime. The number of cases filed each year is speculated to spike even higher with the proposed changes coming to the FLSA in the form of a raise in the minimum wage, along with updating the regulations regarding who qualifies for overtime protection.
You may not be able to ward off all wage and hour claims, but you can take preemptive steps to safeguard your company. Reviewing your current employee classifications (Exempt, Non-Exempt, 1099), updating any time and attendance policies and practices, and making sure that your record keeping is in line with the current FLSA regulations, will lessen your exposure to a wage and hour claim. HR Strategies can help you reduce your risk and vulnerabilities to a FLSA regulations lawsuit, along with the many other Federal, State, Local and Professional Regulatory changes. Call us today to relieve your stress of whether or not you are in compliance; and give yourself the ability to focus on the aspects of your company for which you went into business, while we handle the behind the scenes issue of compliance. G