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2010 Fulbright Litigation Trends Survey Shows Increase In Employment Litigation

Published by on October 13, 2010

The 2010 Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Litigation Trends Survey has come out.  Employment litigation is on the rise.  More after the break. Larry Bodine at the Law Marketing Blog has extracts here.   He reports on the employment litigation portion of the report as follows: Labor & Employment Litigation Across the Board, Employment Litigation Up: Much of the litigation […]

The 2010 Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Litigation Trends Survey has come out.  Employment litigation is on the rise.  More after the break.

Larry Bodine at the Law Marketing Blog has extracts here.   He reports on the employment litigation portion of the report as follows:

Labor & Employment Litigation

Across the Board, Employment Litigation Up: Much of the litigation swell was due to spikes in labor and employment suits. As the economic recovery lags, payrolls shrink and wages are cut. There is much talk of doing more with less. In this climate, companies continue to be sued by their employees in ever greater numbers. For the third straight year, sizeable portions of survey respondents report increases in multi-plaintiff cases: 18% report increases in wage and hour disputes (FLSA); 11% report a rise in traditional labor union related matters; 10% report an increase in age discrimination cases; 7% report rises in race discrimination suits and ERISA suits; and 6% report rises in sex discrimination suits and disability discrimination suits.

A Bubble in Wage & Hour Disputes? The upward trend in wage and hour suits started several years ago, when plaintiffs’ lawyers discovered that state and federal law provided the basis for recovery of small amounts per employee for events or practices covering hundreds of workers – in addition to attorney’s fees and, in some cases, double damages. Wage and hour disputes remain the primary concern when it comes to multi-plaintiff cases: nearly half of all respondents say the greatest increase in multi-plaintiff cases came in the area of wage and hour cases. Among those wage and hour claims, the majority were premised on misclassification and overtime, with a drop-off seen in claims related to meals and breaks.

Discrimination: Cases alleging sex, race, age and religious discrimination do not account for much of multi-plaintiff cases. Of those respondents who faced employment litigation cases, when looking at both single and multi-plaintiff cases together, 51% they saw the greatest increase in the area of discrimination during the past year. It is an area 44% of respondents expect to continue growing in the coming year. Approximately one-third of all respondents indicate race, age and wage and hour cases are the three types of claims that create the most monetary exposure.

 

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