The aggressive enforcement of wage and hour laws by the U.S. Department of Labor shows no signs of waning; in fact, the agency has set records for back wages recovered for workers each year since 2015. Litigation associated with wage and hour claims poses significant financial risk to business, making it critical for employers to ensure their workforce is properly compensated—which can be challenging in the face of ever-changing federal and state laws.
Whether agency-initiated or brought by single or collective employees, our wage and hour practice assists employers at every level, providing prevention-oriented education, audits, and policy corrections; responding to agency-initiated investigations and enforcement actions; and vigorously defending against wage and hour class and collective actions by bringing early dispositive motions, aggressively opposing class certification, and building effective strategies that allow us to prevail at trial.
We regularly provide advice on issues relating to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act as well as parallel state and local laws, including tracking hours worked, calculation of regular rates and overtime wages, whether individuals can be classified as independent contractors or qualify as statutory employees, appropriate classification of exempt employees, and innovative methods for minimizing uncontrolled payroll expenses.
We have extensive experience dealing with audits and investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor and its state counterparts. We can assist with initial information requests and interviews, help assemble information to educate auditors as to why an employer’s actions have been appropriate, and provide representation in any subsequent challenges and administrative appeals that are necessary.
Our lawyers also have extensive experience litigating wage and hour issues in state and federal courts throughout the United States. We understand how to handle small statutory and contract wage disputes in an efficient manner, as well as to not only manage, but prevail, in complex class actions. Our lawyers have handled hundreds of wage and hour class actions, involving potential classes ranging from small groups of workers to hundreds of thousands of employees and potential damages ranging from hundreds of thousands to well over a billion dollars. We have had a record of success in such matters because of our in-depth understanding of the law and the many defenses available to employers, our development of case-specific strategies, and our engagement with clients at the start of each matter.