USA Today (04/16/12) Paul Davidson
Wage-and-hour lawsuits filed in federal court topped 7,000 last
year, up 32% from 2008. Workers are filing suit to recoup
overtime pay, alleging that they were required to work off the
clock, were misclassified as exempt from overtime requirements,
and were expected to handle work-related tasks after hours using
smartphones and other technology. Experts say the Fair Labor
Standards Act is outdated, as it does not take into consideration
the new workplace and new technologies.
Employers are now clearly distinguishing between workers and
managers and pulling back on telecommuting and company-issued
smartphones, especially as the U.S. Department of Labor cracks
down on violators. The amount of back wages recovered by DOL rose
28% from fiscal 2010 to $225 million in fiscal 2011, and it has
increased its wage-and-hour investigators by 40% to 1,050.