WGSF Newswire : Wage Claims on the Rise July 23, 2012 The Department of Labor is cracking down on employers, and especially restaurants for violating the minimun wage, overtime pay and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). In addition, claims filed by employees seeking back wages are significantly on the rise.
Federal Judicial Caseload Statistics reports that well over 6,000 wage and hour lawsuits were filed in each of the years 2011 and 2010. Overall the fedearl courts have seen a 325% increase in these types of claims since 2001! Business ownders can be personally liable for violations of the FLSA and other wage laws, so compliance must be taken seriously.
The FLSA applies to virtually all employers. The cost of violations can be severe. Following an FLSA audit, you can be assessed back pay, overtime, interest and penalties for up to the two years preceding the audit. An audit may also lead to investigations be the IRS and Department of Homeland Security.
If you think any of the following common problems are present at your business you should seek professional guidance on complying with the FLSA:
Paying employees in cash without withholding required payroll taxes Not ensuring that employees receive overtime pay for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours in a week Paying a salary to employees who work over 40 hours per week who are entitiled to receive overtime wages Not keeping records of wages paid to employees Collecting and redistributing tips to employees Taking an excessive tip-credit against employee wages Not having necessary I-9 form and other records of employees’ identification Not paying employees required minimum wage A business owner’s best defense when faced with an employment claim is excellent records. It is the owner’s burden to prove that employees were paid wages in compliance with the law. WIthout good records, meeting that burden is a very difficult task. Defending a wage claim without good records can be very costly and sometimes fatal to a small business owner.
Welch, Gold, Siegel & Fiffik, PC advises buiness regarding FLSA and other employment issues. We have defended employers in suits filed by employees seeking unpaid wages and in Wage and Hour Audit Proceedings. If you have any questions regarding the FLSA and whether your business is in compliance with the FLSA, please contact our Business ream of Michael E. Fiffik, Esquire, and Deirdre B. Moser, Esquire at 412.391.1014 for a confidential consultation.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this message is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be a legal opinion, legal advice or a complete discussion of the issues related to a personal injury case. Every individual’s factual situation is different and you should seek independent legal advice from an attorney familiar with the laws of your state.