Employee-related lawsuits are on the rise and have increased 2000% since 1995. EEOC claims have jumped from about 83,000 in 2007 to approximately 90,000 in 2014. The EEOC collected approximately $340 million in monetary awards last year.
According to the latest data from Jury Verdict Research, the median award for all types of discrimination claims increased 46% in the past year, from $216,575 to $317,032. Retaliation verdicts also rose 51% from $146,050 to $221,250. Additionally, the average amount of damages awarded by juries in workplace related issues is $650,000.
Additionally, according to the Federal Judicial Center, suits filed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) continue to climb. The data shows that there were 8,126 FLSA suits filed in federal courts last year, an increase of 400% since 2000. The Department of Labor (DOL) estimates that 70% of employers are violating the FLSA in some way. Further, the DOL’s budget for investigation has increased 50% since 2008 and currently the DOL is pursuing a “self directed” investigation approach (as opposed to a complaint-driven approach).
To help protect your assets, listed below are 15 top reasons that employers get sued by employees:
- Failure to follow policies and/or turning a blind eye to violations
- Lack of training of front line managers/supervisors, i.e. discrimination, harassment, FLSA, Retaliation, etc.
- Not giving employees their final paycheck because they have company policy
- Misclassifying workers as independent contractors
- Unlawful pre-employment questions
- Terminating employees on leave
- Improper or avoidance of documentation of employee behavior and discipline(s)
- Inappropriately classifying employees as exempt
- Inappropriate use of unpaid interns
- Dishonest employee evaluations
- Hasty disciplinary decisions
- Not possessing polices and/or badly written policies
- Mistreating employees, i.e. bullying, favoritism, harassment, etc.
- “Making deals” with employees to avoid paying overtime
- Inconsistent application of policies and practices
The best way to avoid workplace litigation is to make sure your company is informed. Need help? Have questions? Call us at (877) 356-6175 or email us today!