Originally Published in Law360, May 16, 2012
Although a great deal of commentary exists regarding the impact of the Great Recession on many types of litigation, only recently has the surge in wage and hour class action litigation come into focus.
In fact, numerous recent articles have documented the proliferation of high-stakes wage and hour class action litigation: See, e.g., Paul Davidson, Overworked and Underpaid, USA Today, Apr. 16, 2012; Wage-And-Hour Litigation Outpacing All Other Workplace Class Actions, Business Insurance, Apr. 2, 2012; Shannon Green, Wage and Hour Litigation is Big — and Getting Bigger, Corporate Counsel, Mar. 19, 2012.
In addition to the recession, the increase in such lawsuits is primarily driven by:
1. Technological advancements allowing work from remote locations;
2. The continued potential for large recoveries and attorneys’ fees;
3. A relatively easy class certification process as compared to discrimination cases; and
4. Divergent state and federal labor laws that permit plaintiffs to pursue claims on a variety of theories.
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