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 post is a cautionary tale citing wage hour violations made by multi-million dollar businesses.
FLSA penalties committed repeatedly by large business owners can rack up whopping fines. Consider these settlements:
- Fed Ex agreed to pay drivers misclassified as independent contractors $240 million in back wages.
- After being served with four class action suits, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles conceded to pay $27 million in back wages and attorney’s expenses 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 insisting upon off-the-clock work, denying breaks, and shorting workers overtime pay.
- Bank of America and subsidiary Merrill Lynch made a deal to cough up $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 disclose details about its audits, but it’s clear that employers of all sizes are vulnerable to an audit—especially those in low-wage sectors.
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