Bylined Articles

The New Workplace Revolution: Wage and Hour Lawsuits

By Jonathan A. Segal
May 30, 2012

More than 7,000 collective actions were filed in federal court in 2011 alleging wage and hour violations, an approximately 400% increase since 2000. What's driving the spike?

Starting with the civil rights legislation of the 1960s, including Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, to Roe v. Wade, and Title IX, the second half of the 20th century was in many ways devoted to social change. These efforts reverberated throughout the workplace. And the core of employment-related lawsuits unsurprisingly involved these issues.

During those decades, we saw a dramatic increase in legal challenges to unlawful discrimination, harassment, and retaliation at work. Employees appropriately fought against not only animosity based on gender, race, and national origin, for example, but also stereotypes based on them. Stereotyping is often a form of impermissible discrimination.

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