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 message is a cautionary story referencing wage and hour violations made by multi-million dollar companies.
FLSA violations committed repeatedly by large employers can rack up staggering fines. Consider these settlements:
- 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 recompense $27 million in back wages and legal expenses to staff members who claimed they were owed for wage and break violations.
- Walmart and Sam’s Club settled a $62.2 million FLSA suit for requiring off-the-clock work, denying breaks, and shorting workers overtime earnings.
- Bank of America and subsidiary Merrill Lynch made a deal to compensate $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 run afoul of DOL regulations, it should concern SMBs with fewer resources. The DOL does not publish details about its audits, but it’s clear that employers of all sizes are vulnerable to an audit—especially those in low-wage industries.
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