Wage and hour lawsuits outnumber all other class actions combined

According to a 2010 survey of more than 1,800 legal and HR professionals, one-third of respondents were hit with a wage and hour claim in the past year. At the same time, more than half of respondents shared that their organization has increased spending for wage and hour compliance.

Shanti Atkins, the President and CEO of ELT, the workplace compliance training company that conducted the survey, explains the dramatic rise in claims: “Employers are being hit from two sides. On one, there is a better funded, more fully staffed Dept. of Labor (DOL) that has made fighting wage theft one of its key priorities. On the other side are aggressive plaintiff law firms that literally salivate at these easy-to-identify and easy-to-win, lucrative class actions.”

To complicate matters further, the DOL reports that more than 80% of employers are out of compliance with federal and state wage and hour laws! The top Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that get employers in trouble are:

• Misclassifying a non-exempt employee (eligible for overtime) as salaried/exempt
• Not paying overtime to non-exempt employees for all hours worked, including unauthorized overtime
• Making improper salary deductions from exempt and non-exempt employees

Go here for clear guidelines on how to comply with FLSA regulations – and practical forms and recordkeeping tools to keep you on track.

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