Overtime Violation Lawsuits Stay In The Headlines

Overtime Lawsuit ChartRecently, it seems more employees are suing their employers over their rightful payment for the work they have done. The battle over overtime compensation continues between employers and employees. Overtime is something employees look to get compensated on and sometimes they have to sue to get it. Anyone reading the news will notice the huge settlements from companies on the overtime issue. Halliburton just settled a lawsuit with some of its employees for $18 million. According to some news stories, Halliburton has to compensate more than 1,000 employees with the money. The company claimed the overtime fiasco was due to an accounting error on their part. However, the overtime issue is a trend that is prevalent among many employers of different sizes. According to an article on Law360.com, C&C Salons settled a lawsuit with its workers for $800,000. The reason cited by the salons for the overtime oversight was bad record keeping.

“According to their complaint, the salons failed to keep accurate records with respect to hours that the hairstylists worked each day and total hours worked each week as required by federal regulations. They said the litigation would determine whether that was done intentionally.

The lawsuit sought reimbursement, with interest, for overtime wages, as well as an injunction against the business to prevent them from underpaying employees in the future.”

When litigation concerning overtime takes place, it puts into direct contention the battle lines of employers and employees. There is a natural tension between the two categories and arguably one of the main trigger points is payment. Fair payment for work provided can get overlooked sometimes. Once things are moving, its a constant battle to stay on top of things and the proper reporting of employees can get lost in the shuffle.

In 2012, the United States Government Accountability Office published a chart about Fair Labor Standard Acts lawsuits in Federal Court. The chart showed overtime violation was the number one complaint in lawsuits filed. Overtime lawsuits are part of the Wage & Hour category. These lawsuits generally takes years to resolve and focus on one the most sensitive touch points for employees. Any employee who goes beyond their required duties looks to get compensated properly. Some employer look to cheat their employees and others are simply skirting their obligations by not doing the proper paperwork. Many people think these issues are long gone but they are still alive and very prevalent in today society. Even the on-demand type of companies are facing allegations concerning overtime. Companies like Uber, Lyft, GrubHub and others are fighting litigation on this very issue.

Photo: Figure 4: Estimated Percentage of FLSA Lawsuits Filed In Federal District Court in Fiscal Year 2012, by Type of Allegation

Photo Credit: U.S. Government Accountability Office 

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