There has been a recent increase nationwide in ‘wage theft’ claims by employees against their employers. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has undergone some changes the past two years, including its overtime rules, that have given employees more tools for litigating against their current or former employers. Wage-and-hour lawsuits have begun to represent the majority of employment-type FSLA cases. As these lawsuits become increasingly commonplace, it is essential you know what puts your business at risk.
Knowing the risk factors for your business
The FSLA was constructed to protect employees from employers who attempt to pay them less than they’re entitled. Despite the many necessary protections the FSLA provides, it has the potential to be abused by unscrupulous employees. Here are three claims that a worker could file against you under the FLSA:
- Preventing non-exempt workers from receiving overtime: The FSLA defines who is an exempt vs. a non-exempt employee. Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay.
- Failure to pay employees for off-the-clock work: Employers that adjust or manipulate their employees clocked hours, classify particular time as non-compensable or have employees clock out for lunch when they are still working.
- Providing compensatory time in place of compensation: The FLSA has provisions to keep employers from offering compensatory time in place of overtime rate compensation for hours worked beyond 40 per week.
- Misclassified workers: It is an FSLA violation when an employer classifies workers as independent contractors when they should be employees.
Navigating unfair litigation
You have to work hard to protect your company from unfair wage-and-hour class actions. If an employee makes a baseless claim against your business, you need an attorney experienced in employment litigation to know where your business stands.