Employers in New York and around the country have been facing more wage and hour law claims than ever before. A new study found that federal filings have gone up by 450 percent over the past 15 years. As of the end of September, there were 9,000 new wage and hour lawsuits that had been filed in federal court in 2015, not to mention the thousands of other wage and hour lawsuits that were filed in state courts.
There are a few reasons why so many wage and hour law claims are filed against employers. First, it is often difficult for employers to defend themselves against these kinds of disputes because they are strictly liable for violations of minimum wage and overtime violations. Because these cases often work out in favor of the plaintiff, attorneys view them as low risk cases.
Another factor that may have contributed to the increase in wage and hour law claims is the complexity of federal and state laws. Wage and hour laws can be very different from one region to the next, and employers that do not pay close attention to local laws are likely to make mistakes. Once one employee becomes aware that wage and hour law violations have affected them, there are likely to be other employees with the same wage disputes.
An attorney may be able to look at a person's employment and financial records to determine if any wage and hour laws have been violated. If the employee was not paid correctly for the work that was performed, the attorney can assist in preparing and filing a claim for the reimbursement of the wages that are owed.