Both state and federal laws require employers to follow certain guidelines regarding minimum wage and overtime pay. A highly effective way in which to comply with these laws is by maintaining complete and accurate records of all employee compensation, including hours worked, meal and break times, vacation days, holidays and other relevant information.No matter how detailed a company’s records may be, employees still file wage and hour claims. Perhaps the employee feels wronged and decides to seek the assistance of an attorney or government agency to find out more about his or her legal options. Overall, the employee has the right to pursue a claim with the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor or to file a state or federal lawsuit against his or her company. Regardless of what the employee ultimately chooses to do in this regard, dealing with wage and hour claims can be time-consuming, costly and result in serious legal consequences.
Having an experienced and skilled employment defense attorney on your side is crucial when dealing with a wage and hour claims. Specifically, a skilled attorney will investigate the facts underlying an employee’s allegations and develop effective counterarguments and affirmative defenses to protect an employer’s legal interests. A lawyer needs to prove that the employer acted in good faith, the employee qualified as exempt under the applicable wage laws, or the employee waived his or her rights.
Failure to comply with the federal and state wage and overtime guidelines can subject employers to stiff fines, penalties and expensive lawsuits, depending upon the nature of the alleged violation. Moreover, employers can also be forced to reimburse employees for any unpaid wages. The best way for a business to avoid these issues is to keep as accurate a set of records as possible and ensure all managers responsible for personnel thoroughly understand applicable wage and hour laws.