I often post about the perils facing Alabama employers when claims are made for overtime under the Fair Labors Standards Act. This week, Al.com reported that the Pelham City Council voted to authorize the settlement of a class action/collective action lawsuit that was filed in 2010 by a number of Pelham firefighters. Subject to the approval of the judge, the case will settle for a total of $170,000, with $55,000 going to the firefighters and $115,000 going to their attorneys.
Practice pointers. There are numerous FLSA overtime claims being made on a regular basis in Birmingham and around the state, against companies, both large and small, as well as governmental agencies. The best way to avoid these claims is to properly classify employees as either exempt or non-exempt, and to pay overtime if required by law. Once a claim is made, as evidenced by the proposed Pelham settlement, attorney’s fees often exceed the actual damages recovered by the aggrieved party. The FLSA and its regulations are very complicated, and it is best to consult with your legal advisor to determine if employees are properly classified, and if they are receiving overtime if required.