Wage and hour suits remain top concern for HR and in-house counsel
- A new report by international law firm Proskauer found that 76% of professionals polled meet regularly with the heads of HR departments and other business units. The survey examined how in-house counsel can better collaborate with HR, partner with other business units and improve their own performance.
- Key findings in the survey reveal that although discrimination claims were the most common complaint, respondents were more concerned about wage and hour claims because they often turn into class action suits. Respondents received on average 12 litigation threats from plaintiffs, nine administrative charges and five non-class action suits.
- One in five companies were hit with a class action lawsuit in the past year. The survey also showed that the respondents collectively faced 125 class actions in the past 12 months.
Large employers likely have a legal department and an HR department that collaborate. Small organizations may not have internal legal counsel or a legal department. Others, depending on their staff size, might not even have a dedicated HR professional. HR practitioners in small organizations can benefit from partnering with third-party legal services for advice on handling employment compliance issues, claims, lawsuits and related fallout for brand protection.
More HR practitioners may find themselves leaning on counsel of some kind thanks to a new administration with starkly different legal priorities than the last. Deregulation, while perhaps easier for employers in the long run, is not cheap upfront — costing some employers around $100,000 per change. In any case, employers will need to keep an eye on both the federal government and, increasingly, regulations coming out of states and municipalities in order to stay compliant.