Employment attorneys expect record numbers of FLSA unpaid overtime lawsuits in 2016

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by Jim Orr

Attorneys involved in wage and hour lawsuits filed on behalf of workers say that they expect the number of lawsuits filed under the Fair Labor and Standards Act (FLSA) to reach record numbers for the third straight year in 2016. Favorable regulatory conditions, along with aggressive enforcement of federal labor law violations, pushed the number of FLSA lawsuits filed in 2015 to record numbers, a trend that legal experts predict will continue during the coming year.

This increase in the number of FLSA class action lawsuits has also led to an increase in the overall damages paid by employers who violate federal labor laws. The top settlements in FLSA cases during 2015 totaled $2.5 billion, a new record from the previous high of $1.87 billion in 2014.

Wage-and-hour lawsuits are one of the common types of legal action in the field of employment law, with an estimated 8781 FLSA lawsuits filed in 2015, up from the previous record high of 8160 in 2014. The number of FLSA lawsuits filed in the U.S. has risen steadily since 2000, with a 450% increase in lawsuits over violations of federal labor laws during that period.

The majority of FLSA lawsuits are filed as class action cases on behalf of a group of plaintiffs that suffered violations of federal rules about overtime compensation or other employment rules. The aggressive enforcement of FLSA violations by federal regulators, combined with an increase in the number of wage-and-hour lawsuits filed by plaintiffs’ attorneys, has contributed to the increase in these cases.

Employment experts say that, ultimately, this increase in the number of FLSA lawsuits and the settlement damages paid to employees is due to the fact that employers continue to violate federal labor laws regarding overtime compensation and other regulations. However, attorneys who have reviewed the federal statistics regarding FLSA litigation say that a number of additional factors have contributed to the increase in these cases. Factors that have contributed to the increase include minimum wage increases in many states or municipalities, increased focus by regulators on independent contractors, increased scrutiny of employer designations, and a greater focus on franchisor-franchisee designations.

In addition to the many smaller lawsuits that have been filed against individual employers, a number of larger cases have been filed by the Department of Labor. The Labor Department is expected to finalize new rules this year that would expand overtime eligibility for millions of American workers. These new regulations may lead to increased liability for employers who violate FLSA rules and further increase the number of employment lawsuits filed under this law.

Unpaid Overtime? You May Qualify to File a Lawsuit

The FLSA was passed to ensure that American workers receive honest wages for an honest day’s work. Workers who have been subjected to wage and hour violations that violate federal labor laws under the FLSA may be entitled to file a lawsuit and receive compensation for their unpaid wages, as well as additional damages. The first step in filing an FLSA lawsuit is to secure the help of attorneys with the experience and training to properly handle your claim.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have represented numerous class action plaintiffs who were harmed by the conduct of businesses. Our firm has handled class actions or multi-district litigation cases involving commercial litigation and other legal matters in Texas, California, and other jurisdictions across the U.S.

All of the attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson are trial lawyers in the truest sense of the term. Our firm will not hesitate to take a case all the way to court in order to achieve the best possible results for our clients. So far, the attorneys at our firm have achieved verdicts and settlements of more than $200 million on behalf of our clients.

If you were the victim of FLSA violations in the workplace, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit or join an existing class action lawsuit. For a free legal consultation and to find out whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit, contact us the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001 or by following the link to the free consultation form on this website and answering a few simple questions to get started.