Employment Class Actions for Wage Violations On The Rise

Employment Class Actions for Wage Violations On The Rise

 

In what is coming to be referred to as “wage theft,” the New York Times is reporting on an escalating number of class action lawsuits brought on behalf of employees of major U.S. companies to recover wages lost as a result of state and federal employment law violations.  Employment laws and regulations in California and other states, as well as federal law, set forth specific guidelines that must be followed by employers with regard to employee wages and working conditions.  These laws mandate such benefits as periodic meal and rest breaks and overtime pay for specific classes of workers exceeding a threshold number of hours worked in a week.

The recent New York Times expose included an example of one warehouse employee for a Walmart contractor who claimed to have never been paid overtime despite allegedly working seven straight days, often eleven hours a day, and clocking more than 70 hours a week.  Now, as the result of an employment class action lawsuit brought on his behalf as well as on behalf of similarly situated workers, this employee is positioned to recover tens of thousands of dollars in backpay.

Class actions brought on behalf of employees for wage and hour violations have been around for decades, but evidence is emerging hinting that these illegal practices by employers are becoming more prevalent than ever.  State and federal officials to whom the New York Times report referred suggest that companies are violating wage laws more than ever before, perhaps resulting from increased competition or an intensified profit motive.

In a similar vein, Audet & Partners, LLP recently reported on a California federal court opinion that effectively reclassified Federal Express delivery personnel as employees and not independent contractors as the company had maintained.  This opinion may result in significant backpay for tens of thousands of Federal Express delivery workers.

If you believe you may have been improperly denied wages or overtime pay, or failed to receive meal and rest breaks to which you are legally entitled, you are urged to contact an employment class action attorney at Audet & Partners, LLP for a free, confidential case evaluation.  You can contact us either by completing and submitting our inquiry form on the right side of this page, or by calling us at (800) 965-1461.