Wage and hour litigation has increased exponentially over recent years. In many circumstances, these cases become bet-the-business propositions, putting entire companies at risk. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and similar state and local agencies have increased audits and investigatory initiatives—targeting businesses and catching unwary employers by surprise.

The attorneys that make up Honigman's Wage and Hour Matters practice have years of experience defending employers in complex class and collective actions brought under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA); prevailing wage laws; and similar state and local statutes, regulations, and ordinances. We successfully represent employers across the country during large-scale governmental audits of their overtime classifications, recordkeeping procedures, meal and rest periods, and leave and pay practices. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in various states, including Michigan, California, New York, Illinois, Ohio, and Georgia, and we can rapidly respond to wage and hour matters nationwide.

Complex Litigation

Our Wage and Hour Matters team is uniquely qualified to assist clients with all of their wage and hour matters. Our experience includes:

  • Defending clients in large collective actions challenging overtime and minimum wage classifications, as well as clock-time and payroll practices
  • Defeating certification of putative class and collective actions
  • Obtaining summary judgment and the dismissal of claims seeking to make key executives personally liable for employment practices
  • Representing clients during litigation concerning prevailing wage obligations under the Davis-Bacon Act and immigration and analogous laws
  • Litigating complex FMLA and similar leave cases challenging our clients’ leave policies and employment decisions
Governmental Investigations

We have also successfully defended employers during governmental agency investigations of wage and hour practices.  Whether the issue concerns classification decisions, payroll deductions, recordkeeping, or other matters, our team represents clients during agency action initiated by the DOL, the Michigan Wage Hour Division, the New York Department of Labor, the New York Attorney General’s office, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), and many other federal and state agencies.

Practical Business Advice

Our Wage and Hour practice group does not simply represent clients after issues arise. We proactively counsel our clients on wage and hour policies and procedures designed to prevent costly lawsuits and governmental investigations, while keeping in mind our clients’ business operations and objectives. Our advice and consultation services include:

  • Auditing minimum wage, overtime, and independent contractor classifications
  • Reviewing exempt and nonexempt classifications
  • Drafting position descriptions, policies, and handbooks
  • Providing advice on timekeeping and payroll procedures
  • Investigating alternative exemptions, including the executive, administrative, professional, computer professional, retail and service, outside sales, Motor Carrier Act, and other federal and state exemptions
  • Evaluating compensable and noncompensable time
  • Designing procedures that limit overtime expenses while preventing off-the-clock work
  • Counseling clients on FMLA and other federal and state leave laws
  • Advising clients concerning applicable meal and rest periods and child labor laws
  • Analyzing tip-credit, tip-pooling, and other issues relating to tipped employees
  • Assessing the clients overall wage and hour compliance practices

Our Wage and Hour attorneys have received recognition from Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, The Best Lawyers in America, Michigan Super Lawyers, and Martindale-Hubbell and are considered thought leaders in the field. We have written numerous articles, co-authored and edited treatises and practice guides, and given many presentations to clients and business groups on wage and hour issues. Our team stands ready to assist employers with all of their wage and hour needs.

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