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New GAO Report on Fair Labor Standards Act

FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT: The Department of Labor Should Adopt a More Systematic Approach to Developing Its Guidance, GAO-14-69, Dec 18, 2013

“Substantial increases occurred over the last decade in the number of civil lawsuits filed in federal district court alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended (FLSA). Federal courts in most states experienced increases in the number of FLSA lawsuits filed and the percentage of total civil lawsuits filed that were FLSA cases, but large increases were concentrated in a few states, including Florida and New York. The number of workers involved in FLSA lawsuits is unknown because the courts do not collect data on the number of workers represented. Many factors may contribute to this general trend; however, the factor cited most often by stakeholders, including attorneys and judges, was attorneys’ increased willingness to take on such cases. In fiscal year 2012, an estimated 97 percent of FLSA lawsuits were filed against private sector employers, often from the accommodations and food services industry, and 95 percent of the lawsuits filed included allegations of overtime violations.”


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