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The US Department of Labor has stepped up its enforcement efforts in this area in part by adding investigators. Wage and hour lawsuits are on the rise often end up costing employers into the multi-millions of dollars. In addition to the unpaid wages, you can end up owing the same amount in liquidated damages-that's right, double the amount of unpaid straight time and overtime pay.
If that's not enough, as long as an employee wins even one penny of unpaid wages, you can also be on the hook for the employee's attorney fees. Since many wage and hour cases are class action lawsuits, the amount of money damages can multiply exponentially. While employers have a basic understanding of wage payment issues, dealing with supplemental pay can present their own challenges.
Add to that, the DOL's new overtime rules with regard to certain positions categorized as "exempt" are likely to take effect by January 2020. The main component of these rules is that the salary threshold will increase, pushing many otherwise exempt employees into the non-exempt (aka overtime eligible) category.