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Surge in overtime suits

A WSJ news account (sub-only) covers the trend:

Last year, 3,599 lawsuits alleging some violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which mandates federal pay rules for employees, were resolved, according to the federal judiciary. That is more than double the 1,596 cases resolved in 2000.

"There has been an explosion of Fair Labor Standards Act litigation since 2002," says Edward Harold, a partner at Fisher & Phillips LLP in New Orleans, which represents management in labor-law disputes. His firm estimates that lawsuits by groups of workers, as opposed to individual workers, alleging violations of federal wage rules rose to 1,300 in 2005, up from 350 in 2000. Other attorneys and workers' groups say they have seen similar increases.

Could the increase be due to intensive recruitment and development of cases by the plaintiff's bar? Yes, say defense lawyers, while their opposite numbers say no, it's just this big spontaneous upwelling of worker anger at FLSA infractions. Much more on our employment law page.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.