According to a recent report by CNNMoney, collective action lawsuits, wage and overtime lawsuits brought by employees under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, have grown by 400 percent since 2000. In fact, in 2011 alone, over 7,000 collective actions were filed in federal courts across the country. Bloomberg reported in 2007, that companies are paying out over a billion dollars a year to resolve wage and hour lawsuits.
These collective action lawsuits claim that workers are paid what they are owed, either because they are classified as overtime exempt, or were not paid for time worked. The most recent companies to be hit with wage and hour lawsuits include Taco Bell, Starbucks, Walmart, Oracle, IBM, Fremantle Media, Hooters, Groupon, and Boston Market the Huffington Post reports.
Though there are many opinions on why the number of wage and hour lawsuits continue to increase, one thing seems for certain, employees today have less leverage in their jobs, possibly because of the economy and labor market, but also, as numerous news outlets have reported, because companies are highering fewer workers, and requiring their employees to do more work without an increase in pay.