According to the 2008 Fulbright & Jaworski Litigation Trends Survey, 27% of all U.S. companies surveyed had more than 20 lawsuits brought against them, up slightly from the year before.
And it's a trend that seems to be growing.
The most commmon reasons for lawsuits? They usually involve perceived abuse by employees over hourly wages, promised overtime, meal expenses or break time.
As the recession worsens, experts are particularly watching how an increase in hiring of part time or seasonal workers will effect the trend.
As ever, the bigger the company (see Walmart) the better the odds of winning or settling out of court. Other typical cases include:
- race, sex or age discrimination
- violations of the Family Medical Leave Act
How to hire a labor attorney
When looking for a labor attorney, it’s a always a good idea to shop around, but if you can't afford an initial consultation look for law firms that provide them at no charge.
While your there, ask questions. Make sure they're qualified in mediation, arbitration, and that they are armed with a proven track record in litigating cases. How many cases have they brought to trial? How many have they won? If settlement negotiations later break down, you'll know (and you're employer will, too) that you've hired a labor lawyer who can successfully argue your case in a very public court of law.
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