Vital facts that you should know about wage and hour laws

Businesses fear wage and hour claims more than any other kind of employee claim. Several highly publicized wage and hour lawsuits that were launched as class actions in recent years have resulted in significant financial losses for corporations due to settlements and defense expenses.

In the 2019 fiscal year, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor recovered a record $322 million in pay owed to employees. Irrespective of the form of wage and hour claims, they can be frustrating for employers. Here comes the importance of wage & hour lawyers. Here are a few examples of wage and hour lawsuits. 

Compensatory time: Instead of paying their workers the overtime they are entitled to, businesses will occasionally advise their staff to put in more hours under the assumption that they will receive compensatory time off shortly.

Unpaid rest breaks or meals: Throughout their shift, every employee is entitled to lunch and rest breaks. Employees should be compensated for time spent working if their employers require them to work through lunch and rest periods.

Unpaid lectures, meetings, & training: Employees must be compensated for the time they spend on work-related activities if they are required to attend seminars, lectures,  training sessions, or meetings.

Underpaid or unpaid overtime: An employee who is not exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is entitled to overtime pay equal to 1.5 times their regular hourly salary if they work more than 40 hours in seven days. Employees are entitled to back pay for any wages that are underpaid if an employer either fails to pay overtime at all or calculates overtime pay incorrectly, leaving them with less than they are entitled to.

What should an employer do to reduce wage and hour claims?

Because there are so many regulations that companies must follow, it can be challenging to prevent wage and hour disputes, which is why there are so many of them.

Employers need to be diligent in recording employee conduct as one way to try and reduce these kinds of lawsuits. Employers could be able to keep more accurate timesheets and better records of breaks taken, travel time for work, and a host of other information that is necessary for them to pay their workers legally and properly by using employee scheduling software, for example.

But since labor regulations are subject to regular changes, it might not be a terrible idea to engage with a wage and hour attorney and a compensation expert to help you figure things out, particularly if your company employs 50 or more people.

Classification audits must be carried out every two to three years to be up to date with the labor law’s ever-changing landscape.

For precise guidance on how to run your company and draft employment contracts, you should, in reality, speak with a lawyer. Since the specifics of each case may dictate how labor rules and regulations are applied, it is important to remember that they are not uniform between jurisdictions.

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