Texas Lawyer - How to Survive the Overtime Dog Pile

Texas Lawyer has signed up Alan Bush as a freelance contributor.  His latest article, "How to Survive the Overtime Dog Pile," appeared on November 5, 2012 in the In-House Texas pullout.

Here's what Alan had to say about how to deploy limited resources to prevent and defend against an overtime collective action:

No in-house counsel wants to wake up one morning to discover the company has an unexpected and unfunded $3 million contingent liability.  That can happen when a relatively small group of workers brings a collective action alleging the company owes them for overtime pay.  I call these suits an overtime dog pile.

Overtime suits are common these days.  People call the Department of Labor so often that the agency has a “Bridge to Justice” program that refers overtime claimants to private plaintiffs counsel.  But companies and their counsel don’t have to take it lying down.  Here are some steps the legal team can take to protect the business — before and after plaintiffs sue...

Read the full article for more details.  In it, Alan lays out some practical steps on how to:

  • Limit damages exposure by examining your pay policies before they're challenged by the DOL or a lawsuit;
  • Wisely deploy limited audit resources;
  • Slice-and-dice a proposed class of overtime claimants; and
  • Crunch the damages numbers right (not how plaintiffs' counsel wants to).