Wage and hour lawsuits have exploded in all types of business industries. The DOL (Department of Labor) states there are more than 25,000 wage and hour-related complaints every year. The number of lawsuits filed against companies under the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) has shown an increase of more than 450 percent since 1995. These lawsuits are expensive and extremely disruptive, so you must learn how to protect your business from overtime lawsuits.
How to Protect Your Company Against Wage and Hour Lawsuits
The laws change all the time, and even employers who have navigated the complex world of local, state, and federal employment laws and regulations find it is only half the battle when looking to avoid costly wage and hour lawsuits (some of which are often brought as collective (or class) action lawsuits. Despite the shifting wage and hour laws, however, there are ways you can protect your company against overtime lawsuits.
- Keep Procedures and Policies Updated
- Your company needs to keep an ear out for shifts in the FLSA as they pertain to your industry. Make sure you take the appropriate action for these shifts and update your procedures and policies. Keep updated especially when it comes to meal breaks, overtime wages, work done off the clock, and how technology and equipment are used outside of work hours.
- Enlist Legal Resources
- The FLSA is a maze of guidelines and rules. Along with these requirements to keep abreast of, you also have to comply with state laws that continue to be reinterpreted in courts across the country. To protect your business from wage and hour lawsuits, you need to enlist a legal resource, such as Alan Danz of Danz Law who is an experienced attorney in employment law.
- Keep Accurate Employee Records
- One of the best ways to protect your company from overtime lawsuits is to make sure your employee records are always accurate. While you might think paper records will save your company money, you do not want to have to sift through piles of paper if ever faced with a wage and hour lawsuit. Electronic timekeeping is the best practice for keeping accurate employee records. Having clean, accurate records is going to be your best defense in an employment dispute such as one brought under the FLSA..
- Perform Regular Audits
- Performing regular audits of your records can prevent any unpleasant surprises. Audit your job descriptions, employee handbooks, policies, procedures, and any other employee communications you have. It is not pleasant when a surprise comes along when it involves wage lawsuits and other employment laws. Many employers say they are often surprised by their documents and what they say and don’t say. So performing regular audits of your company’s procedures and policies and how they are worded can reduce your risks in employment lawsuits.
Types of Claims Brought in Overtime Lawsuits
Failure to pay overtime wages make up more than forty percent of wage and hour lawsuits. These lawsuits can include:
- Misclassification of employees
- Failure to pay for off-the-clock time
- Failure to compensate or pay for meal breaks
- Failure to pay compensable time after or before a work shift
- Failure to pay employees when they use email and other mobile devices for work-related projects outside of their working hours.
Internal audits of wage and hour practices in your business by an expert such as Danz Law can identify and help your company prevent most of these violations of the law. Identification will help you avoid wage and hour lawsuits that can become quite costly.
Learn More About Preventing Overtime Lawsuits
Danz Law provides knowledgeable representation for employers across South Florida. We consider ourselves advisers and counselors regarding employment-related issues. We can offer your company more than just legal representation. If you have questions on how to avoid a wage and hour lawsuit, or any other employment legal issue, call our office and talk to one of our experienced specialists.