When a client must defend claims of wage and hour violations under FLSA, it is essential to have experienced counsel prepared to provide the powerful defense these cases demand. At LKC, we recognize defending wage and hour litigation can cause extreme hardship to a client’s business. Without proper representation, employers face potential liability that includes treble damages and liability for plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees.
Our attorneys have defended clients facing allegations for failure to pay wages owed, minimum wage and, more commonly, failure to properly pay overtime wages, bonuses and per diems. These actions often stem from allegations involving meal and rest breaks not granted, employee misclassifications (non-exempt employees classified as exempt), compensatory time not granted for hours before or after shift, and other wage and hour claims.
What steps can your company take before a lawsuit or enforcement proceeding is initiated?
- Have LKC conduct an audit to help keep your policies current. Doing so also reduces your damage exposure should you be subject to an FLSA lawsuit.
- Utilize employment agreements containing arbitration provisions to mitigate collective action litigation.
- Review employment and compensation policies to ensure they comply with both federal and state laws.
- Determine which workers are employees and which are independent contractors, then properly classify each.
- Remain diligent about recordkeeping and accurately reflect hours worked. The absence of recordkeeping will be utilized against the employer.
If served with a lawsuit, it will typically come from a plaintiff’s attorney or group of plaintiffs’ attorneys representing the affected parties, or the U.S. Department of Labor.
You want a proactive team of experienced attorneys. If you hear from a plaintiff attorney, contact LKC and we will conduct an immediate and thorough audit of your current pay practices. We will help you alter your compensation plans to ensure it complies with all current regulations. We will also work towards an amicable solution with the plaintiff’s lawyers, who are more likely to be reasonable and settle with an experienced, aggressive team on your side.
We understand the potential damages in these FLSA cases can be expensive to litigate and even expensive to settle without going to trial. While we offer reasonable rates and manage our time efficiently, we also believe that certain situations are important to stand-up against FLSA allegations. In our experience, once a business gives into one complaint, many often follow. Fighting the first battle may end, or at the very least significantly reduce, the challenges of such allegations by other current or former employees.