The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLS) applies to many companies, from small family operations to a large corporations. Alleged violations of this law can have a significant impact on your business. Even the most conscientious employers can find themselves charged with FLS violations requiring expert representation to defend against the charges and protect their company and reputation.
FLS Common Lawsuits
The Fair Labor Standards Act was adopted in 1938 and is a one of this nation’s oldest employment laws. The FLS establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping and youth employment standards, and requires covered employers to pay many employees time and half for work that exceeds 40 hours per week, unless the employer can claim an exemption.
The three most common FLS lawsuits are:
- Misclassification Cases: Employee claims that the employer improperly classified her as exempt from the FLS, or an independent contractor (which are largely free from FLS-imposed requirements).
- Off-the-clock Cases: Employee claims that the employer did not pay him for all hours actually worked because some work was performed “off the clock.”
- Tip-Pool Cases: Tipped employees claim that their employer didn’t fully comply with the FLS’s “tip credit” or “tip pool” requirements (like by forcing them to share tips with non-tipped employees or not giving proper notice of the tip pool contribution amount).
A Successful Outcome
FLS cases must be handled with care and diligence. They often evolve into class or collective actions, with multiple employees participating in the lawsuit and, in many circumstances, employees can claim entitlement not only to unpaid wages and overtime, but also to “liquidated damages” (which allow the employees to claim twice the unpaid wage/overtime amount) and to payment of their attorneys’ fees by their employer. Obviously, these cases can be daunting and exceptionally expensive if not properly defended.
The attorneys of Lieser Skaff represent businesses that are facing FLS lawsuits, applying our extensive knowledge and experience in these matters to craft the best defense possible. We begin by evaluating the plaintiff’s claims to determine if there is merit through error or confusion on the part of our client and often seek to resolve the situation through negotiation rather than trial, in order to save our employer-clients time and money. If there is no substance to the claims, we manage the discovery process and present the best procedural and substantive defenses.
At Lieser Skaff, we defend and protect the business interests of employers and help them navigate the complexities of the ever-changing set of employment laws and regulations.