Wage and Hour Cases On The Rise: Should The Department Of Labor Do More?
failing to pay overtime. These claims are becoming more prevalent. If you believe that you are not being paid for every hour of overtime that you work, contact one of our qualified wage and hour attorneys. Wage and Hour Suits Rising Wage and hour lawsuits are on the rise. Wage and hour claims are filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and/or similar state laws. The FLSA is a federal law that establishes minimum wage and overtime pay standards. This law covers nonexempt employees. A nonexempt employee is an employee whose job does not fall under one of the several exemptions from overtime pay. Almost all hourly employees are nonexempt, as are most day rate or piece rate employees. If your job is not paid overtime, your employer is likely classifying you as exempt. Employers often get this wrong and misclassify jobs as exempt when they should be nonexempt. While you can contact your human resources department and ask about your employment classification, do not rely entirely on what they tell you. Rarely will employers admit that your job is improperly classified, as this would mean they have been cheating you out of overtime pay. Wage and hour lawsuits are typically the result of wage theft, which occurs when an employer does not compensate its workers properly for all hours worked. The Federal Judicial Center found that over 8,000 wage and hour lawsuits were filed from 2012 to 2013, which is about 5% higher than previous years. Why the Rise in Wage and Hour Lawsuits? The following may be reasons for this sudden increase in wage and hour lawsuits:You should be compensated for every hour that you work. If not, you may be the victim of wage theft. Many workers are claiming that their employers have “stolen” a portion of their wages – usually due to
- Employers have been aggressively trying to cut costs and labor costs are one of their largest expenses. The FLSA uses language that is somewhat technical and can be difficult to interpret.
- State laws and federal laws that govern wage and hour requirements are not always easily reconciled with each other.
- An increase in awareness about employee rights has caused an increase in lawsuits.