CHICAGO (May 9, 2013) - Leading law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP released information today charting a new record high for federal wage and hour lawsuits filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 2013. Based on this data, FLSA cases continue to skyrocket, despite indications that these filings had moderated during the past 12 months.
In data obtained from the Federal Judicial Center, 7,764 FLSA cases were filed in 2013, up 10 percent from 2012 which saw 7,064 cases filed. (For more details, see Seyfarth’s complete chart of federal FLSA claims filed between 1990 – 2013).
According to Richard Alfred, chair of Seyfarth’s Wage & Hour Litigation practice, the claims forming the bulk of these numbers include: misclassification of employees, alleged uncompensated "work" performed off the clock and miscalculation of overtime pay for non-exempt workers.
"With no clear catalyst during the past 12 months, this strong spike and new high for FLSA claims makes them one of the top threats to U.S. employers," said Alfred. “We’ve seen an astonishing rise in FLSA claims, but with a slim one percent increase in 2012, it’s surprising to see a sharp increase like this.”
Alfred believes several factors may be responsible for the jump in 2013 filings, including:
- The improving economy may provide incentives for plaintiffs’ counsel to sue new and relatively unsophisticated companies, employers whose workforces are growing, and companies whose improved financial position has made them more attractive targets.
- The economic recovery has seen an increase in employment demands on all employees, both exempt and non-exempt, which cause them to question their employer’s pay practices.
- More lawyers who had not considered wage and hour claims in the past--both employment specialists and general practitioners--are now filing wage and hour lawsuits, perhaps motivated by large settlements in past cases.
- Employees are more sensitized to wage and hour issues, at least in part as a result of their access to social media.
For more perspective from Seyfarth on this FLSA data, please visit our Wage & Hour Litigation Blog.
Seyfarth Shaw has more than 800 attorneys and provides a broad range of legal services in the areas of labor and employment, employee benefits, litigation, corporate and real estate. With offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, London, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco, Shanghai and Washington, D.C., Seyfarth’s clients include over 300 of the Fortune 500 companies and reflect virtually every industry and segment of the economy. For more information, please visit www.seyfarth.com.