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Number of Wage and Hour Lawsuits Continue to Climb

The number of wage and hour claims filed over the last several years has significantly increased.  The majority of these claims have concerned the improper classification of employees – whether identifying a non-exempt employee as exempt (thereby denying an employee of deserved overtime), or classifying an employee as an independent contractor (thereby denying a worker benefits, including overtime, minimum wage, and other protections).  However, other areas that may create wage and hour violations include the failure to have sufficient break periods, or improper record keeping that fails to adequately account for all time worked.  For example, a recent class action case out of California asserted that a shipyard failed to provide the requisite 30-minute break period as set forth in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The total break time was infringed on by requiring roughly 100 employees to pass through a single checkpoint, and well as requiring workers to return all tools before taking a break.  These additional steps reduced the total time off to less than 30 minutes.  The workers also asserted that they were required to buy specific clothing for the job, which was not reimbursed.  The lawsuit led to a $2.9 million wage and hour settlement.

As is often the situation, the matter hinged on the consideration and interplay of federal, state, and local wage and hour laws and regulations.  

For more information or if you believe that you have been unfairly denied all of the wages you deserve, please contact the dedicated Atlanta wage and hour lawyers at Buckley Beal, LLP for an immediate consultation.

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