The number of wage and hour lawsuits continues to rise for a third year in a row. Statistics show that over the course of the last 5 years, the number of federal lawsuits filed based on alleged violations of the FLSA has more than doubled. With the newly announced guidelines increasing the salary threshold, and entitling millions more working Americans to overtime pay, the numbers of violations and potential lawsuits is likely to increase as well.
As of December 1, the salary threshold will be raised from its current $455/week to $913/week. This means that workers who were once considered exempt, may no longer fit within this classification. As a result, their employers must pay them overtime compensation at a rate of one and one-half time their standard rate of pay for all hours worked in excess of 40 in any one work week.
In the past, misclassifications have been the root cause of many of the lawsuits. This includes employers who misclassify workers on the basis of being an independent contractor v. an employee, or exempt vs. non-exempt. Another area of concern has been the failure of employers to pay minimum wage, a problem exacerbated by employers requiring hourly workers to work through lunch and rest breaks, and failing to adequately account for all time worked.
Hopefully, the rise in wage and hour lawsuits will lead to employers taking a close look at their pay practices and ensuring they are respecting the law and providing their workers all the pay they are rightfully entitled to.
For more information or if you have questions concerning your take home pay, please contact the dedicated Georgia wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.