by Kathleen Webb of HomeWork Solutions
The D.C. law firm of Seyfarth Shaw, specializing in Wage & Hour Litigation, reports that Federal lawsuits for unpaid wages and unpaid overtime – know as Wage and Hour Complaints – rose last year to an all time high of 8,126 cases.
This marks the 7th consecutive year that these Federal suits have risen, and they are up 438% since 2000. Richard Alfred, chair of Seyfarth’s Wage & Hour Litigation practice, reports that these numbers “would be even higher if wage and hour lawsuits filed in state courts under state pay practices, data which isn’t readily available, were added.”
For individuals, state wage and hour complaints are typically the first step taken to recover unpaid wages or unpaid overtime. Every state makes these services readily available to individuals, and there are support staff to assist with completing the paperwork and pursuing these matters.
Household employers can protect themselves from costly errors, as well as the embarassment of dealing with a formal complaint, by taking the following simple steps:
- Always have your household employee’s compensation IN WRITING and stated in hourly rate terms. HomeWork Solutions’ free Hourly Rate Calculator will translate your desired weekly wage to your household worker into the appropriate hourly and overtime rates for you.
- Maintain time and attendance records – either electronically using any number of available smart phone apps, or in paper form using tools such as a week at a glance calendar.
- Always pay for overtime. Families often think they can just offer compensatory time off (comp time) and avoid the extra expense. Don’t go there, it is not legal under the FLSA.
HomeWork Solutions’ staff is available at any time for a free telephone consultation to help you understand these rules. Give us a call at 800.626.4829. Nanny unpaid overtime complaints have risen noticeably in the last decade, and an ounce of prevention can help you steer clear of this hassle.