How Employers Should Handle Wage and Hour Claims Against Them

One type of lawsuit that businesses may have to deal with far more often than others are Wage and Hour claims. Owing to employee disputes over the amount of compensation for the amount of work, Wage and Hour claims are getting more commonplace than ever before. The U.S. Department of Labor reported that employers paid a record-breaking $322 million dollars in 2019 to employees filing Wage and Hour claims against them.

Wage and Hour claims come most often from non-salaried employees who believe they were underpaid for the amount of work they provided to an employer. We understand that these claims can be very frustrating for employers, especially because the specifics of labor laws that apply vary greatly from business to business. The most frequent causes for Wage and Hour claims are:

  • Employees not being paid for their lunch and rest breaks
  • Employees not being paid an overtime rate for working more than forty hours in a week
  • Employees not being paid for compensation time they were offered
  • Employees not being paid for time spent learning and in meetings outside of standard work hours
  • Employees not being paid for any work-related travel expenses
  • Employees not being paid minimum wage

The best advice we can give to help employers protect themselves against Wage and Hour claims is to keep meticulous records. First of all, make sure that your employees are always logging their hours. Make sure that your employees have signed your Employee Handbook, which should explain your pay/hour policy in it. Make sure to keep a receipt for all payments made to all employees. Most importantly, if your employee worked overtime hours, make sure they were paid for them.

Of course, the fact that many businesses are currently working from home throws an interesting wrinkle into this. At home, there is no set clock-in method, and many employees keep track of their own time. We recommend setting deadlines for all tasks assigned and ensuring they are being met.

If you want to make sure your employees are really there during work hours, consider implementing frequent check-ins and messages. Those could be via video as well – in virtual school, children have to show their face to check in to class. If you want to go another direction, you could have your employees install a time monitoring software (such as TimeDoctor or Timely) and keep up with their results.

Wage and Hour claims are frequently being leveled against businesses, in part because of most employer’s confusion about the exact labor laws that apply to them. For help dealing with (or preventing) a Wage and Hour claim, contact Cueto Law Group P.L. today. From boardroom to courtroom, we’ve got you covered!