Learning from your own mistakes is a good thing, but it’s even better to learn from someone else’s and avoid them altogether. Today’s article is a cautionary story referencing wage and hour violations made by multi-million dollar organizations.
FLSA infractions committed repeatedly by large employers can rack up massive penalties. Consider these:
- Fed Ex agreed to pay drivers misclassified as independent contractors $240 million in back wages.
- After being hit with four class action suits, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles conceded to pay $27 million in back wages and legal costs to employees who claimed they were owed for wage and break violations.
- Walmart and Sam’s Club settled a $62.2 million FLSA suit for obligating workers to perform off-the-clock work, denying breaks, and shorting workers overtime compensation.
- Bank of America and subsidiary Merrill Lynch made a deal to pay $14 million to settle two overtime class actions.
If mega-corporations with massive HR divisions, teams of accountants, and armies of attorneys are held accountable when they violate labor laws, it should concern SMBs with fewer resources. The WHD does not reveal details about its audits, but it’s evident that employers of all sizes are vulnerable to an audit—especially those in low-wage industries.
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