Labor & Employment
Wage & Hour
The last decade has seen a marked uptick in the number of multi-plaintiff claims brought against employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act as well as state wage and hour statutes and regulations. Our attorneys serve as the first line of defense for employers looking to manage the costs and difficulty of wage and hour risks. Our team is fully equipped — with the depth and breadth of knowledge amongst a wide variety of experience — to simultaneously defend a nationwide, multi-facility collective action and assist a small, family-owned business in developing payroll policies and practices to eliminate or limit exposure to costly litigation.
We have successfully defended the gamut of wage and hour claims, including numerous “hybrid” class and collective actions, in state and federal courts across the country. We have also defended investigations by state and federal agencies for clients ranging from locally owned businesses to national Fortune 500 companies. In addition to defending wage and hour litigation, our attorneys can help employers develop proactive litigation avoidance initiatives.
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Each wage and hour claim is unique, and no cookie-cutter approach can apply to all clients or claims. Our team tailors its defense to each case and each client’s goals — whether that means aggressively fighting each step of the process or facilitating an early and efficient resolution. We have been successful at all levels of litigation, from obtaining motions to dismiss and summary judgments to defeating conditional and class certifications. Our experience cuts across claims of all types, industries and complexities. This includes:
- Claims that employees were misclassified as exempt from overtime and/or minimum wage provisions.
- Claims that employees were misclassified as independent contractors.
- Claims that employees were incentivized or required to work “off-the-clock”, including claims that employers failed to pay for remote work on various electronic devices, work during meal breaks, donning and doffing of clothing or protective gear or other types of alleged pre- and post-shift work.
- Claims challenging tip pooling practices.
- Claims that challenge an employer’s compensation, commission or incentive plan or practices, including failure to pay, untimely payments, unlawful deductions and clawback claims.
- Claims that challenge an employer’s calculation of the regular or overtime rate.
- Claims an employer failed to pay prevailing wages.
We understand a successful resolution is often dependent on managing the costs of litigation. Wage and hour claims can involve costly discovery and evidentiary battles. We work with our clients to set realistic and efficient budgets and expectations. In addition, we coordinate lean litigation teams that have developed efficiency through experience, with our Electronic Data Discovery group to manage the costs of discovery, data retrieval, review, hosting and production in a cost-effective manner.
In addition to litigating wage and hour claims, we provide the following services to clients on a routine, where-needed basis:
- Audit job descriptions and conduct manager interviews to determine whether the position is exempt or non-exempt.
- Audit independent contractor agreements and arrangements to determine proper classification.
- Review payroll practices to confirm all compensable time is captured and overtime is properly calculated.
- Audit timekeeping systems and practices to confirm employees are paid for all hours worked and do not work “off-the-clock.”
- Review handbooks and other policies to confirm they comply with all applicable wage and hour laws, clearly communicate the client’s intentions, accurately describe the client’s payroll and timekeeping practices and include all applicable safe harbors.
- Train managers on applicable wage and hour laws and their employer’s overtime, timekeeping and pay practices.
- Audit compensation plans and agreements for compliance with wage payment laws.
- Audit policies and practices for compliance with state and federal prevailing wage laws.
- Provide training, seminars, webinars and other tools to help clients recognize and manage wage and hour risks.
- Call centers.
- Financial services (e.g. banking, insurance, etc.).
- Hospitality (e.g. restaurants, hotels, country clubs, etc.).
- Healthcare (e.g. hospitals, nursing facilities, pharmaceuticals, etc.).
- Oil and gas.
- Home service.
- Transportation and logistics.
- Professional services.
- Auto recovery companies.
- Government contractors.
- Government entities.
- Professional employer organizations.
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