Employers recently have noticed explosive increases in employment-related Department of Labor (DOL) claims, especially relative to wage and hour legal action.
According to a 2010 survey conducted by San Francisco-based ethics and compliance specialist ELT Inc., of more than 1,800 human resource professionals, one-third responded that in one year their organizations were subjected to wage and hour-related claims. Typically, when DOL investigates such claims, it will review employer records and employee files. If DOL determines an employer did not properly classify an employee as exempt vs. nonexempt, pay the employee for overtime, maintain accurate time records, implement mealtime policies and compensate for all time worked, the employer could be subjected to fines and payment of back wages.
Wage and hour class action lawsuits outnumber most other employment risks. DOL reports its Wage and Hour Division has recovered more than $1 billion in back wages during an eight-year period.
A real risk