Labor: Hope exists for employers defending wage and hour claims

Two recent rulings can help protect corporate counsel from FLSA costs and liabilities.

In October 2010, the American Bar Association estimated that cases filed in federal court alleging a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act would increase by more than 13 percent over 2009. In certain regions of the country, including New York and Florida, the increase has been even more staggering. No anecdotal evidence suggests this trend has tapered off during the first seven months of 2011.

Against this backdrop, however, two recent rulings have caught the attention of corporate counsel seeking to better insulate their clients from the tide of wage and hour claims. In the first, the 11th Circuit denied a plaintiff’s attorneys’ fee petition where the employer, prior to judgment, paid the plaintiff all wages claimed plus an equal amount as liquidated damages. In the second, the 4th Circuit concluded that the FLSA does not protect job applicants who claim they were not hired in retaliation for suing a former employer for labor law violations. 

Job applicants are not protected by the FLSA’s anti-retaliation provision 


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David Gevertz

David Gevertz is a shareholder and vice chair of the Labor and Employment Department at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC (Atlanta). His practice...

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