Mr. Chase has extensive experience representing employers and employees on claims relating to the failure to pay required overtime and minimum wage. This is an incredibly active area of the law, with some judges reporting that the most common types of claim on their docket are wage and hour claims arising under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”) and similar state statutes.
Collective Actions Under the FLSA
Mr. Chase has experience handling “collective actions,” which are the unique type of class actions permitted under the FLSA. Particularly crucial in litigating FLSA collective actions is determining the most advantageous definition of the covered class of plaintiffs. In this area, it is also essential to be aware of differences between applicable state wage and hour law and federal law.
Another critical issue to be aware of is the requirement for obtaining court approval for a settlement of FLSA claims. Many attorneys wrongly assume that a negotiated out-of-court settlement is sufficient to resolve potential FLSA claims, which can be a costly mistake leading to further expensive litigation.
Preventing Wage and Hour Disputes
When representing employers on wage and hour matters, Mr. Chase believes that his most valuable advice often concerns preventive measures employers should take to avoid litigation in the first place. Many small businesses make very basic mistakes that result in costly litigation, such as:
- Employers assume that if an employee agrees to accept a higher wage instead of overtime, such an agreement is enforceable.
- Employers wrongly believe that an employee’s title determines whether he or she is entitled to overtime.
- Employers fail to follow simple policies and practices for recording hours of employment and approved overtime and later find themselves involved in expensive wage and hour litigation.
Following transparent, fair, and cost-free practices relating to employee compensation will go a long way to avoiding protracted and expensive wage and hour litigation later.
If you are an employer or employee with an issue relating to employee compensation, please contact Thomas Chase for a free initial consultation about your matter.