Employment law attorney Shawn Wanta was quoted in a June 19, 2014 Minnesota Lawyer article, “Wage and hour battles on the rise.” The article discusses the rise in the number wage and hour claims being brought forward under state laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act over the past decade. These claims deal with the alleged theft of employee wages through forcing employees to work off the clock, shaving time off of time cards, not paying overtime, and denying mandated breaks. Issues of alleged wage theft are commonly being dealt with in one of two ways: through direct action and advocacy or through class and collective action litigation.
Class and collective action lawsuits are a good way to bring wage and hour claims for a number of reasons including making a claim more viable, as well as making more economic sense to plaintiffs. Attorneys representing plaintiffs often front litigation costs, as well as put in quite a bit of time, with no guarantee of a recovery.
Wanta highlighted fear of retaliation as another reason employees often opt for collective action.
“Sometimes they’ll call in a group, sort of as a safety in numbers theory. If it’s two or three people calling, they perhaps feel a little more job security,” Wanta said. But there are legal safeguards in place that protect employees who assert legal claims against their employers. Specifically, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prohibits an employer from taking action against an employee because they assert a claim for overtime or minimum wage violations. Similarly, the Minnesota Human Rights Act protects employees who allege employment discrimination.
If you believe your employer has violated your rights in terms of a wage and hour claim, please contact one of our employment attorneys to discuss your rights. The employment lawyers at Wanta Thome Jozwiak & Wanta LLP have significant experience litigating, and helping resolve, cases involving violations of workers’ rights. When you contact our firm, you will always receive a free consultation with an experienced employment law attorney.