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National Economic Research Associates Report finds: “Wage and Hour Lawsuits Went up in 2012”


With the country in a jobless recovery, many employers have been taking advantage of the low availability of jobs to make their employees work longer hours for less pay. In such situations, it is more important than ever for wage and hour attorneys to defend workers’ rights.

According to the National Economic Research Associates Report, titled “Trends in Wage and Hour Settlements: 2012 Update”, wage and hour lawsuits went up in 2012 compared to 2011 with overtime lawsuits comprising most of the claims. California wage and hour settlements, as well as those filed in New York, make up most of the settlements in 2012.

Employers nationwide paid a total of 18% more in wage and hour settlements in 2012 than they did in 2011. The total amount paid out in 2012 settlements was $467 million, bringing the total settlements in wage and hour cases over the past six years to about $2.7 billion. Of the wage and hour lawsuits that were filed, 102 were settled in 2012 before reaching trial. To put that in perspective, 446 lawsuits were settled between January 2007 and December 2012. The number of settlements in 2012 makes up almost 25% of the total number of wage and hour cases settled over the past 6 years.
The average settlement in 2012 was about $4.8 million, which is up from 2011’s $4.6 million average. However, more money is being paid out largely because there are more plaintiffs.

The average settlement per plaintiff per class year actually fell from $1,500 in 2011 to $1,300 in 2012. While some lawsuits threw the curve by averaging as much as $25,000 per plaintiff, those cases were abnormal. California and New York were the states that saw the most money paid in settlements.

From the time a lawsuit was certified as a class to the time the lawsuit ended, the average class period lasted five years.

2013 is also shaping up to be a big year. First Republic Bank has agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle a lawsuit involving almost 400 employees after the U.S. Department of Labor found that certain employees had been treated as exempt from overtime.

The lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center are investigating unpaid overtime claims against large corporations and banks such as First Republic Bank for misclassifying employees as managers, erasing or altering time sheets or time records, pressuring workers not to report or record overtime, and otherwise failing to pay workers for overtime and other wages. If you are the victim this practice call us at (312) 869-4095 or contact us online.

The lawyers at the Chicago Overtime Law Center have decades of experience fighting for wage earner’s rights. We have a team of overtime attorneys at our Chicago overtime law firm who focus on statewide or nationwide class action lawsuits and work out of Chicago and Oak Brook offices and prosecute claims for workers all over the Chicago area including Schaumburg and Mount Prospect. We protect unpaid workers who haven’t received overtime throughout the Chicago area including in DuPage, Kane and Cook Counties.

Our Orland Park and Countryside overtime lawyers are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.

The Chicago Overtime Law Center is based in Chicago, and represents clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at (312) 869-4095 or through our online form.