The latest news of the U.S. economy finally regaining the jobs lost through the recession is a promising reminder that the economy is back on track. However, it appears that many employers are still not following federal law when it comes to properly compensating employees. The number of wage and hour lawsuits being brought by employees has risen over the last year, and the number of suits appears to be growing at a record pace.

Between April 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014, approximately 8,126 federal lawsuits were filed alleging wage and hour violations. This number is five percent higher during the same period in 2012 through 2013. While this year to year increase may be small, the number of FLSA lawsuits filed has risen by more than 400 percent since 2000.

There are a number of factors that have contributed to the increase of federal wage and hour lawsuits. Likely the most prominent reason is the tightening standards for class certification. Since many courts are not allowing broad classes, this forces plaintiff’s attorneys to file many more individual and multiple plaintiff lawsuits.

Also, the recent revisions to regulations that govern white collar exemptions may create a new class of individuals who are currently being paid on a salary basis that should be earning hourly wages as well as overtime. Further, the number of proposals to raise the minimum wage in different jurisdictions may fuel additional talk about potential wage and hour violations.

For more information, or to answer questions about how employees should be paid according to their job descriptions and duties, consult an experienced employment law attorney.

Source: Businessinsurance.com “Workers filing wage and hour lawsuits under Labor Act at record pace,” Judy Greenwald, May 20, 2014