Study Shows Increase in Wage and Hour Lawsuits for Five Consecutive Years

May 16, 2013

According to new wage and hour lawsuit data from the Federal Judicial Center, the number of employees who have sued their employers over wage and hour issues in the workplace has substantially increased. Costa Mesa-based attorney Vincent Howard has been following an analysis of the data that reports that over the past year, the number of wage and hour lawsuits have increased ten percent. This is the fifth year in a row that the lawsuits have increased, according to the study.

The analysis concludes that the first major increase in cases occurred in 2003, when the number of federal wage and hour lawsuits almost doubled from around 2,000 to 4,000. This number has continued to grow over the past five years, from over 5,000 lawsuits in 2008 to over 7,000 lawsuits filed in 2012.

These federal wage and hour lawsuits that allege violations of the FLSA are typically separated into three categories: hourly workers who claim that they have not been compensated for all of their work hours, salaried employees who claim that they are owed overtime pay, or have experienced employee misclassification, and restaurant workers who claim that their rights have been violated, when employers fail to pay additional wages after their tips combined with regular pay do not total the federal minimum wage.

CNN Money reports there has been a nearly 400 percent increase in wage and hour violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) since 2000. In a related Orange County employment lawyers blog, Vincent Howard reported on a 2008 study entitled "Wage Theft and Workplace Violations in Los Angeles" that surveyed low wage workers in Los Angeles County. The study found that low wage workers were consistently robbed of their wage and hour rights, by being forced to work through rest and meal breaks, being exposed to tip stealing, and subjected to a lack of payment documentation, late compensation and retaliation.

According to the study, almost thirty percent of Los Angeles workers were paid less than the minimum wage, with around eighty percent of workers who had not received their right to overtime compensation. Another eighty-one percent of the workers had their rest and meal time taken away from them, and over sixty-three percent did not receive proper documentation of their compensation. Tip stealing occurred in over nineteen percent of workers who receive tips, and of the fourteen percent of workers who complained about wage and hour violations the previous year, over half of these employees experienced retaliation as a result.

At Howard Law, PC, Vincent Howard and our team of labor and employment professionals believe that all California employees are entitled to a workplace that is free from wage and hour violations and workplace discrimination or retaliation. In Orange County, California, contact us today for a free consultation about your labor and employment rights.

Wage And Hour Lawsuits Against Employers Rise For The Fifth Year In A Row, Thinkprogress.org, May 13, 2013

Wage Theft Complaints Have Increased 400 Percent In The Last Decade, Thinkprogress.org, May 30, 2012

Related Web Resources:

U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR): The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, (DSLE)

Department of Labor (DOL): Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

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