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McGuire, Craddock & Strother’s Tom Craddock talks with Texas Lawbook about rise in FLSA wage and hour litigation

Texas Lawbook reporter Kerry Curry spoke recently with McGuire, Craddock & Strother’s Tom Craddock about a dramatic increase in federal wage and hour lawsuits facing businesses in Texas and nationwide. Lawsuits filed under the Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) have increased more than 300 percent in the past decade.

Tom Craddock

Tom Craddock

Writes Texas Lawbook:

Many of those complaints are finding a sympathetic federal court system and resulting in Texas companies forking over tens of millions of dollars in back wages and legal fees. Trial lawyers only recently started focusing on the 76-year-old federal statute when they realized that it guaranteed legal fees – win or lose – and that most cases were easy to win in court.

Mr. Craddock, who leads McGuire, Craddock & Strother’s employment law practice group, stresses that while FLSA lawsuits are on the increase, employers can work proactively to reduce the likelihood of FLSA litigation. He notes that it’s a good idea for employers to set forth all pay policies related to the FLSA in writing in the employee handbook, and then make sure that workers are aware of the policies.

FLSA lawsuits can be avoided, Craddock tells Texas Lawbook, if employers are open to working through pay grievances with their workers.

“We’ve advised our clients to try their best, at the human resources level, to work with an employee who feels like they have been wronged in so far as FLSA standards are concerned,” Craddock said.