Dear Chiefs,

Please find below, an article regarding the trend in an increase of wage and hour claims across the nation. The trickle-down effect has found its way into several of our member fire districts. It is very important that you are aware that the reimbursement of wages are a Policy Exclusion; therefore, there is no coverage or defense that will be provided through FAIRA.

This is why we strongly suggest that you are proactive in understanding your responsibility as an employer.

Another Year, Another All-Time High for Wage and Hour Litigation

Posted in Overtime by Richard Alfred and Kevin Young

Wage and hour litigation continues to soar to record highs. So says the federal judiciary’s most recent data on cases filed in federal court over the last federal fiscal year. After hitting an all-time high of 8,160 in FY14, the annual wage and hour caseload spiked another 7.6%to 8,781in FY15. In federal court, employers are more likely to face wage and hour claims than any other form of employment litigation.

The following graph tells the story:

As the graph depicts, this year’s increase in wage and hour litigation continues the year-over-year explosion in these cases over the past fifteen years. Since 2000, the incidence of wage and hour federal court filings has skyrocketed by more than 450%. During the past decade alone, such filings have increased in eight out of ten years. This year’s total of 8,781 cases is more than any two pre-2005 years combined.

Several factors have fueled the increase in wage and hour lawsuits over the past year. They include:

These factors have added to those that we have reported on in past years (May 2013 and May 2014), which have sustained the surge in wage and hour lawsuits:

With more developments in wage and hour laws on the horizon, we expect to see the upward trend continue in the coming year. Now more than ever, employers are well advised to audit their exempt status classifications, independent contractor classifications, and pay practices with experienced wage and hour counsel to identify and mitigate legal risk.


Jillian Stoorza

Executive Assistant


1255 Battery Street

San Francisco, CA 94111

415-536-4005  Telephone

855-350-7617  Toll Free

415-536-8499  Fax