Wal-Mart, whose stores can be found all over the Indianapolis area, has been ordered to pay more than $4.8 million in back wages to its workers nationwide. It had been found in the wage and hour claims that Wal-Mart was in violation of various overtime provisions that are a part of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Whirlpool Corp. recently closed a refrigerator factory in Indiana while paying their top executives more than $75 million in salary and bonuses. Instead of manufacturing refrigerators in the United States, Whirlpool alleges that the layoffs are the result of competitors importing refrigerators from South Korea and Mexico. However, the U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled that such imports did not cause any material injury to Whirlpool's ability to market its products in the United States.
Determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor was the center of a lawsuit held in Indiana. What was alleged in the lawsuit was that drivers performing identical duties for FedEx were treated differently. Some drivers were able to obtain the employment rights of full time employees while others were denied benefits on the grounds that they were deemed independent contractors.
The number of wage and hour law disputes has been increasing in Indiana and across the nation. There has been a 325 percent increase in wage and hour lawsuits filed during the last decade in the federal courts. The number of such disputes has exceeded all other employment type cases combined.
A wage and hour pay disparity dispute concerning hospital workers was taken all of the way to the Indiana Supreme Court. The dispute came down to payment of workers required to put in 40 hours per week as compared to workers that were required to work 37.5 hours. Such a disparity in wages had been going on for approximately 20-years.
With Indiana passing the so-called right-to-work legislation, it's not surprising that employers and employees differ on the perceived benefits of such legislation. Employers feel that the new law will promote economic growth while employees tend to view the legislation as adversely affecting their economic wellbeing as they will have less union protection when it comes to wage and benefit disputes.
Overtime compensation is always a heavily discussed topic in the field of employment law. Employers are often accused of trying to force their employees to work longer hours for lesser wages.
An Indianapolis contractor recently pled guilty to violating a contract for not paying required wage rates on public works' projects. It was reported that the company owned by the contractor incorrectly reported the skill levels of certain subcontractors (resulting in these workers being paid lower wages) and misrepresented wage information on required forms. It was estimated that the amount of unpaid wages exceeded $50,000.
A hostess that worked in the press box for the Indianapolis Colts alleges that she was underpaid for her job duties and is now taking her case to the Federal District Court in Indianapolis. The hostess and a number of her co-employees were paid only $40 for an eight hour workday. Federally mandated minimum wage laws indicate that she should have been paid at least $7.75 per hour.