A Government Accountability Office (GAO)
report recently concluded that from 1991 to
2012, FLSA litigation increased by 514 percent
and over 300 percent since 2001.
GAO analyzed federal district court filings. For
fiscal year, 8,148 FLSA lawsuits were filed,
compared with 1,947 in 2001 and 1,327 in
1991. Private employers were the defendants
in 97 percent of the cases.
Four industry categories accounted for more
than half of the FLSA cases:
*Hotels, restaurants and bars (23 percent)
*Manufacturing (nearly 20 percent)
*Other service industries (e.g., nail salons,
laundry services and domestic work)
The FLSA lawsuits filed in FY 2012 included a variety of
allegations, and many cases involved more than one claim.
According to GAO, 95 percent of FLSA lawsuits that year included
allegations of FLSA overtime violations, 32 percent alleged workers did
not receive the minimum wage and 14 percent included retaliation
claims under the FLSA.
At a minimum, an FLSA complaint must allege at least one of the
following violations: overtime, minimum wage or retaliation
About 95 percent of the cases had an overtime
issue. In addition, nearly half of the cases
involved recordkeeping errors, and almost a
third involved issues related to off-the-clock
Three states accounted for more than of the FLSA litigation
initiated in 2012: Alabama, Florida and New York.
What are some of the reasons for the significant increase?
*Increased awareness about FLSA cases and the "fairly straightforward
nature of many FLSA cases"
*Ambiguity in the regulations, especially as to which jobs are exempt
The GAO recommended that the DOL's Wage and Hour Division
(WHD), the enforcement agency for the FLSA, take several actions to
address this trend:
*Develop a systematic approach for identifying areas of confusion
*Provide more guidance "to help employers voluntarily comply with
FLSA compliance is taking center stage among the various
employer concerns in 2014.
Attendance management is more critical now than ever before.
If you do not have complete confidence in your time and
attendance and overtime tracking software, please consider
Infinisource's TimeForce solution.
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