Harrisburg Forensic Accountants Calculate Wage and Hour Claims
Precise valuations for plaintiffs and defendants in unpaid wage disputes
If there is an allegation that your company is out of compliance with state or federal labor standards, the damages it could incur for these errors is substantial. Alternatively, for workers who have not been paid properly for their time on the clock, the earnings lost after a few months or years of service can add up. Whether you’re a plaintiff worker or a defendant business, one thing is certain: you need an accurate accounting of the amount in dispute. At Breon & Associates, Accountants and Advisors, we are adept at reviewing financial records to ascertain where errors have occurred. Applying advanced forensic accounting techniques, we perform precise calculations that you can rely on to support your negotiating position or your court case. Our veteran forensic accountants even testify as expert witnesses for wage and hour arbitration and litigation.
Common causes of wage and hour claims
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and its subsequent amendments are the basis for most wage and hour claims. FLSA established the 40-hour week, mandatory time-and-a-half overtime, and the federal minimum wage. States have also enacted their own versions of FLSA, including higher minimum wages for hourly workers. Workers commonly complain that employers are out of compliance with FLSA in areas such as:
- Exempting workers — FLSA does not guarantee salaried employees, managers, or independent contractors a right to overtime. Such employees are called “exempt” under the law. However, simply labeling a worker exempt is not enough to circumvent the law, and many misclassified workers could be entitled to overtime pay.
- Demanding off-the-clock work — Requiring workers to perform work-related tasks before and/or after punching out can unlawfully deprive them of earnings, including overtime.
- Rest and meal break violations — The law allows workers to take periodic breaks. When employers require employees to work through their breaks, they should earn additional compensation.
Mishandling of employee tips — Management is not entitled to share in employee tips. Employers also cannot require tips to be pooled and distributed to workers who are not performing direct customer service.
When a violation is believed to have occurred, an investigation must be performed to determine when the potentially unlawful practice began, how often it occurred, how many employees were affected and other facts that contribute to the sum of liability. Breon & Associates has the experience and resources to conduct thorough investigations and distill reliable data to produce accurate valuations.
Penalties for wage and hour violations
Under federal law, companies that violate workers’ rights are liable for unpaid wages and overtime. But the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor can also order the company to pay liquidated damages equal to the recovered amount. State penalties can be more severe, as many states have adopted double or treble damages for willful violations.
If a company carries Employment Practices Liability Insurance, the insurer may pay the cost of an investigation and for defense. Some policies will also indemnify the company for inadvertent violations. However, insurance generally does not cover willful violations, which are the costliest kind.
Contact our Harrisburg Accountants and Advisors for precise wage and hour calculations
Breon & Associates performs accurate calculations for claimants and defendants in wage and hour disputes. We also provide support for related litigation, including expert witness services. With offices in Harrisburg and South-Central PA, Breon & Associates serves clients in Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina and Florida. Call us at 1-888-516-8476 or 717-273-8626, or contact one of our offices online to schedule an appointment.
415 Market Street, Suite #205
Harrisburg, PA 17101
Camp Hill Office:
3461 Market Street, Ste 101
Camp Hill, PA 17011
901 Dawn Avenue, Suite A
Ephrata, PA 17522
3 Park Plaza, Suite 207
Wyomissing, PA 19610