Wage and Hour Claims Increase Dramatically
Employment disputes can arise in a variety of settings. One type of claim a business could find it is defending against is a wage and hour claim. Wage and hour laws are memorialized in the Fair Labor Standards Act. In addition to setting overtime levels, the law also sets the nation’s minimum wage. According to a recent report, it is becoming more and more common for businesses to be involved in wage and hour litigation.
In the course of the past 15 years, the number of these claims has risen dramatically. In 2000, just 1,935 such claims were filed. This year, which for the purposes of these statistics ended Sept. 30, a total of 8,871 people filed a wage and hour case in federal court
There are multiple reasons offered as to why so many claims are currently being filed. According to the director of the Center for Labor and Employment Law at New York University Law Schools, wage and hour claims have become more popular as unions have declined.
Others offer additional reasons such as the fact that the FLSA, has not adapt throughout the years as the economy shifted to a service-based economy and away from an industrial economy. Actions taken by the Labor Department could play a role as well. It has been:
- Promoting minimum-wage hikes on the local level
- Moving to change overtime rules
- Focusing on the misclassification of independent contractors
While it is important for employers to take steps to prevent wage and hour claims from being filed in the first place, when they are, they should be addressed. An employment lawyer can be of assistance with both of these matters