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More American Workers Sue Employers for Overtime Pay

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 Experts say the Fair Labor Standards Act is outdated, as it does not take into consideration the new workplace and new technologies.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.