It's shocking to consider, but sometimes employers try to rip off their own employees. And sometimes those employees sue. More employees are suing every year, as a matter of fact. Why? Well, it's definitely not the fault of employers, say employers.
The WSJ cites a new report saying that worker lawsuits against companies for wage violations— not paying overtime and minimum wage properly, or cheating workers out of their correct pay in other ways— are up by 10% in just the past year, part of a decade-long rise. Not so surprising, when you consider the relative bargaining positions of the average small-time American worker vs. the average American company. But the real entertainment here is the explanatory paragraph about the company's side of the story:
Lawyers representing companies attribute last year's increase in part to an improving economy, which they said motivates plaintiff attorneys to seek big judgments against employers. They also say many cases are the result of inadvertent mistakes made by employers trying to comply with ambiguous terms in federal law, such as the word "work" and whether doing certain activities off-the-clock qualifies. Many other cases result when companies misclassify employees as independent contractors.
Oh heck, we've misclassified you as something other than an employee to which we owe proper wages and benefits. Hate when these types of inadvertent mistakes cause us to pay you far less than you're owed. Well, no reason to notify those greedy plaintiff's attorneys! They're only out for themselves.
The Company Will Take Care Of You.