If your employer does not comply with wage and hour laws, they can potentially end up facing a class-action lawsuit. Even minor mistakes that result in employees not being paid properly can cost a business substantial amounts of money. According to the annual Workplace Class-Action Litigation Report, the value of workplace class-action settlements increased in 2017. The top 10 employment-related settlements from last year were worth a total of $2.72 billion. In 2016, the total value of class-action settlements regarding wage and hour disputes was $1.75 billion.
Employee Classification Errors
When an employer misclassifies a worker, they can be sued for withholding wages. Executive, administrative, and professional employees are exempt from overtime pay restrictions. However, to qualify as exempt, the worker must be a salaried employee that earns at least $23,660. Some computer-related positions and commissioned sales jobs are also exempt from overtime regulations.
Many employers rely on independent contractors and freelancers to help reduce their overall business expenses. However, if an hourly employee is misclassified as an independent contractor or intern, they could lose out on employment benefits and won’t have minimum wage or overtime pay protections. If you and other employees you work with have wrongly been classified as independent contractors, you might be able to file a class-action lawsuit.
How HR Can Help Prevent Lawsuits
Human Resources has major role in making sure that an employer is adhering to state and federal labor laws. HR workers can do the following things to help make sure their company is compliant with the law:
- Keep accurate clock-in times and use an up-to-date record-keeping system
- Train managers and supervisors about the differences between exempt and nonexempt employees
- Wage and hour audits should be periodically conducted to make sure all workers have been correctly classified.
Many class-action lawsuits over wage and hour disputes are the result of an employer keeping poor records, which is why it is crucial for HR to make sure managers and supervisors are familiar with labor laws.
Speak to a Hollister Employment Law Attorney
At Polaris Law Group, we are committed to helping employees who have been taken advantage of by their employers. If you think you have grounds for a class-action lawsuit against your employer, you should immediately consult with our legal team. We can help you build a strong legal strategy that will allow you to recover the financial compensation you deserve.