Wage and hour lawsuits more than quadruple in two decades
- Tsheets, an online tracker of wage and hour lawsuits, has data on how many claims have been filed nationwide, which industries were hardest hit, which states were sued the most and how much companies paid out in settlements. The U.S. Department of Labor provided the data, which includes only cases the government won and excludes cases settled out of court, private prosecution cases and rulings favoring employers.
- The total number of wage and hour lawsuits under FLSA rose more than 400% since 1995. In 2015 alone, the year with the latest figures to date, 8,954 lawsuits were filed.
- The five states with the highest number of lawsuits were Texas (17,062), California (10,176), Florida (10,032), New York (6,965) and Pennsylvania (5,162).
Business owners sent the U.S. Department of Labor 300,000 comments about the staggering rise in wage and hour lawsuits. Many cite the new overtime regulations as a potential future cause and expect more lawsuits to follow.
Back pay is the largest expense for employers, accounting for 75% of settlement costs. With the stark rise in wage and hour lawsuits and the high costs involved, companies can lower their risks for liability by knowing all FLSA provisions and keeping careful records. These days, that may mean improving your HRMS.
The top five industries with the most lawsuits and total back wages and fines were accommodation and food services ($276,855,663), healthcare and social assistance ($174,196,211), retail trade ($159,711,666), construction ($154,062,091) and manufacturing ($139,046,172).