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A Flood of Wage Theft Lawsuits is Sweeping the Nation

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Employers beware: An increasing number of workers are filing lawsuits over wage theft.

A flood of wage theft cases is sweeping California and the nation, filed by workers who claim their employers violated minimum wage and overtime laws. Many employers are accused of erasing work hours and illegally confiscating workers’ tips, according to

Some federal and state officials say companies are increasingly violating wage laws and complain that others are breaching those laws and they suspect that profits are the prime motivator, reported.

A federal appeals court in California ruled last week that FedEx committed wage theft by forcing its drivers to work as independent contractors rather than employees. Many FedEx employees spend 10 hours a day on the road but the company does not pay them overtime, which it is required to do for employees. FedEx has said it will appeal, according to

A janitorial company in Fremont, California, was recently ordered by Julie Su, the state labor commissioner, to pay $332,675 in back pay and penalties to 41 workers who cleaned 17 supermarkets. Su determined the company forced employees to sign blank time sheets that were later filled in with inaccurate, minimal work hours, reported.

David Weil, the director of the federal Labor Department’s wage and hour division, told wage theft is on the rise due to major changes in the nation’s business structure. More franchise owners, subcontractors and temp agencies means that companies are increasingly looking to cut costs as well as corners.

“We have a change in the structure of work that is then compounded by a falling level of what is viewed as acceptable in the workplace in terms of how you treat people and how you regard the law,” Weil said.

Many business groups blame government officials for unfurling a flood of wage enforcement actions aimed at pleasing union allies. The groups insist those actions have forced companies to adhere to wage laws more rather than less to avoid negative publicity similar to that which engulfed Walmart and other large companies in the past, according to disclaimer: This article: A Flood of Wage Theft Lawsuits is Sweeping the Nation was posted on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 at 2:08 pm at and is filed under Employment Lawsuits.

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