As the recession continues and the unemployment numbers remain higher than average, workers across the country are fighting for fair wages. In fact, according to Bloomberg, wage, hour, and overtime lawsuits have reached a 20-year high.
According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, in 2000, the total number of wage and hour lawsuits reached 1,854, while the number of federally filed lawsuits in the year ending March 31, 2012 hit 7,064.
Some attorney’s believe the reason for the increase in these types of lawsuits comes from the fact that once a worker is laid off he can seek fair pay without having to worry about employer retaliation. Another factor is a rather recent change to the Fair Labor Standards Act establishing guidelines for the types of the employees who are eligible for higher pay when working more than a 40-hour work week, though some feel the labor law is still outdated and needs further fine-tuning. One attorney told Bloomberg that the laws were written for a more industrial setting, which leaves employers and employees with unclear guidelines in today’s highly technical workplace.