The trend of successful wage and hour lawsuits against employers has continued over the last several years, as workers become more sophisticated in fighting for their rights. Many reasons have been cited for the increase in wage and hour lawsuits. One main reason has been the boom in technology. When employees receive "24/7" emails and texts from employers, the distinction when a workday begins and ends blurs, thus creating potential overtime and minimum wage violations pursuant to federal law, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and similar state laws. Many of the resulting wage and hour lawsuits have been collective actions - which allow individual workers to band together to challenge an employer’s practices, putting more pressure on non-compliant employers to change their ways.
However, this may change as the United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear three cases concerning the legality of arbitration agreements. In short, arbitration agreements require employees to have their wage and hour grievances heard and decided by an arbitrator, and waiving their rights to participate in a lawsuit. Many times, employees are not even aware that they have signed away their rights, and only become aware of it when they want to sue. Because class actions are often the most cost effective way to challenge large scale pay violations, if arbitration agreements are allowed, this would drive down a major avenue employees have for seeking redress.
For more information, or if you have any wage and hour question, please contact the experienced Atlanta overtime compensation lawyers at Buckley Beal LLP for an immediate case evaluation.