By Valerie K. Ferrier, Partner and Head of the Labor and Employment Practice Group at Martin Clearwater & Bell LLP
Law360 (February 18, 2020, 5:18PM EST) –“Wage and hour cases present a particular threat to small businesses. The hospitality industry is especially vulnerable to these claims.
Aside from incurring the legal costs of a defense, with one-way fee-shifting in favor of prevailing plaintiffs under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law, it is often advisable for businesses to offer an early settlement before the other side incurs substantial attorney fees.
Yet, as some recent cases illustrate, there are situations when defendants may choose to fight it out at trial. Business owners may have multiple reasons they prefer to litigate: deterrence of future lawsuits, lack of concern because they are essentially judgment-proof, and of course moral outrage. Three recent decisions highlight instances in which businesses fought the good fight, and largely prevailed.”