Wage and hour disputes under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which governs payment of minimum wage and overtime, and related state wage and hour laws, are the most frequently filed employment lawsuits in the country. Many are pursued as FLSA collective actions or state-law class actions, creating significant potential exposure for employers who are named in these suits.
The employment attorneys at Phelps Dunbar have significant experience in this area. We regularly litigate both individual and collective or class lawsuits under federal and state wage and hour laws. Our experience includes defending every type of wage and hour claim, such as challenges to classification of employees as salaried and exempt from overtime, failure to pay overtime because of issues such as “off-the-clock” work and missed meal or rest breaks, failure to comply with regulations such as handling tip credits or properly determining the regular rate of pay to calculate overtime, among others.
We also have experience representing employers in investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division as well as their state counterpart agencies involving a wide range of issues. Our services include assisting our clients in preparing for these investigations as well as defending them to achieve positive outcomes.
Finally, the attorneys in our labor and employment practice also have advised employers in implementing many proactive steps and strategies to ensure compliance with the FLSA and state wage and hour laws. Our services in the compliance area include conducting wage and hour audits and reviewing policies and practices, designing and revising pay plans and training management and supervisors on wage and hour law compliance.
Phelps Dunbar also offers unique experience and knowledge of the Fair Labor Standards Act that cannot be found in many law firms. BNA Books publishes a nationally recognized treatise, The Fair Labor Standards Act, and annual supplements, which provide a thorough treatment of all areas under the FLSA and the latest updates on significant case law and Department of Labor guidance. Dennis McClelland, a partner in our Tampa office, served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 Supplements, and has long been a Senior Editorial Board member and author of a chapter on retaliation under the FLSA. In addition, Mr. McClelland served on the board of editors of the treatise on state wage and hour law, Wage and Hour Laws – A State-by-State Survey, Second Edition, and is co-author of the Florida Chapter. Reed Russell, another partner in our Tampa office, is the co-author of the chapter on collective actions in the FLSA treatise and the supplements, as well as a long-serving Senior Editorial Board member. Several other Phelps employment lawyers also served as contributors to the treatise.