What is FLSA and why is FLSA Lawsuit on the Rise?
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is an employee-friendly law that provides employees protection in many areas, including minimum wage guarantees, overtime compensation provisions, and child labor laws.
When an employer violates one of these regulations or goes against employees for complaining about a violation, it’s possible for the workers to bring FLSA lawsuits against the employer to recover back wages and other damages.
Studies reveal that the number of FLSA lawsuits filed in the past years has been on the rise. Many lawsuits are based on alleged violations of overtime laws. FLSA provides that all non-exempt employees must be paid at a rate of one and one-half their standard pay rate for each hour worked more than 40 hours of work done weekly. This may sound like a straightforward rule; employers routinely have difficulties determining who is exempt or non-exempt and calculating the right number of hours an employee works. As a matter of fact, misclassification of employees is a problem.
For many workers, overtime pay provides a more significant part of their weekly or monthly wages and often determines whether ends meet or not. If an employer misclassified that worker as “exempt,” the worker may not receive critical overtime income. Many hourly employees are non-exempt, but you may be exempt if you make more than a certain amount of money per week, and if you perform a certain type of “white collar” job.
If you are exempt, your employer does not have to pay you one and a half no matter the hours worked in a week. If you have questions about whether you are exempt or not, it’s a good to consult with an experienced wage and hour attorney. Employers make the mistake of failing to accurately calculate the amount of time employees have worked and as a result, not paying them all the wages they deserve. This occurs in some ways but often happen where workers are required to work through lunches, skip breaks or are forced to spend significant amounts of time putting on safety clothes or equipment but fail to be compensated for that time.
While FLSA lawsuits may arise whenever an employer violates one of these federal labor law’s provisions. Often misclassifications and the failure to pay a worker for all the time put in makes two of the largest employee complaints.
Employees are more informed
Workers have become increasingly aware of their ability to sue employers for discerned management, missteps in exempt status classifications, overtime pay calculations, hours worked or off-the-clock claims. This is because they want to be paid the right wages. It’s the responsibility of the employer to follow the law when it comes to getting the correct wages. If they don’t then, they are violating your rights, and you can take legal action.
Employees are influenced by large settlements and court awards
A recent study on workplaces class action litigation calculated that the top ten FLSA lawsuits settlements were valued at $513.9 million. Six of the top ten private plaintiffs initiated class action, civil settlements related to Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), employment discrimination, and wage or hour cases. Such coverage debates and high profile settlements may influence an increase in wage and hour activity.
FLSA terms were loosely defined
A common question that often arises under the executive exemption is how to categorize employees who perform both nonexempt management duties and exempt duties. The regulations state that a manager who performs both exempt and nonexempt work at the same time isn’t disqualified from the executive exemption. The exempt executives themselves decide when to perform non-exempt duties. In contrast, the non-exempt employee is directed by a supervisor to perform the exempt work for a defined period.
Increased attention being drawn by Labor Department
The amount of wage and hour cases filed in federal court has been on the rise the past year as compared to the federal judiciary’s overall intake volume. Why the increase? This is because of the increased attention being drawn to wage and hour issues by a Labor Department that has been cracking down on misclassification of independent contractors, moving to change overtime rules. This promotes minimum-wage hikes on the local level. The FLSA, enacted in 1938, has failed to adapt from industrial to the service-based economy, creating uncertainties that have to be resolved lawfully.
Workers within the private and public sector have the right to work under fair labor standards. They have equal rights related to all aspects of their employment and work environment. FLSA benefits workers by regulating employment issues, such as federal minimum wage, overtime pay and employee record keeping responsibilities.
Timeero allows you to accurately track your employees’ hours to ensure that you are paying them the right wage amount and this helps you to avoid FLSA lawsuits. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can save your company time and money.