Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The White Collar Regulation Fallout Continues

Today's National Law Journal article, New overtime rules bring suits, doesn't answer what I said was one of the the critical questions - are more employees eligible for overtime now than they were before the revised regulations. See my post here. However, it does point out another aspect of the new regulations, raised awareness -- on the part of employees and perhaps more importantly the plaintiffs' bar.

The quote from Miami lawyer Norman Davis, of Steel, Hector & Davis, is right on the money as far as I am concerned:

I don't think the new regs are all that profound. The changes have been relatively minor. What they did is they made the overtime issue much more visible, and I think for that reason we've seen a rise in overtime lawsuits.

The article also cites figures from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts saying that overtime class actions involving the FLSA increased from 73 in 2000 to 138 in 2004. I am not sure exactly how the latter figure was derived, but my own unofficial count of suits filed as potential collective actions under the FLSA for calendar year 2004 in Texas alone is 109. Although we like to think that Texas pretty much is the world, I have my doubts that we had 80% of the putative FLSA collective actions filed last year, so I think if anything the increase may be substantially larger than even the article suggests.


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