Wage and hour class actions continue to sweep through the country and are now the leading type of class action filed nationwide. These claims represent 91 percent of all employment law class actions, and can be so devastating to employers because they often result in settlements in the tens of millions of dollars. Employees are ten times more likely to file a wage and hour class action suit than one based on discrimination or harassment.
Common problems include hourly employees who allege that inadequate overtime is authorized, resulting in supervisors promoting and permitting unreported hours (off-the-clock work); editing time records and the resulting time shaving claims; dealing with computer boot up time, donning and doffing as well as other pre/post shift activities; and employees working interrupted meal periods.
Using technology to train and spread awareness with all employees is key to maintaining wage and hour compliance and keeping organizations out of court. Wage and hour training for employees and managers is a critical part of a prevention program, helping to cut damage awards in half and preventing litigation from occurring in the first place.
Most HR departments do a good job of developing and updating associated wage and hour policies, but, often, implementation practices with front-line supervisors and employees can be improved. One of the most important of these practices is teaching the value of reporting wage and hour concerns to senior management and/or HR.
To better understand how employee training can create tangible ROI, employers need to understand the three main components of wage and hour liability:
- Back pay
- Willful violations
- Liquidated damages
A solid training program demonstrates an employer’s commitment to achieving legal compliance-- especially on the front line where many of the most costly mistakes occur.
Wage and hour training can easily protect organizations from millions of dollars in claims. The ROI is real. Utilizing online training provides another layer of return by saving the time and expense often associated with instructor-led live education. Employers can reach a large, geographically dispersed workforce, seamlessly tracking and archiving data for each employee who takes training and acknowledges the organization’s policies. Now that’s putting limited training hours and dollars to good use!