A New York restaurant owner was recently arrested for failing to pay employees minimum wage and overtime under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and could face up to one year in jail, a fine of $20,000, and mandatory restitution to the five unpaid employees.

According to details from JD Supra Business Advisor, wage and hour violations lawsuits have risen significantly in the past ten years, with criminal actions for such violations also on the rise. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division has increased its resources and efforts to investigate and prosecute employers who violate the FLSA by either not paying proper wages and overtime or misclassifying employees as exempt from the overtime requirements.  Even without the threat of imprisonment, employers who violate the wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA could be subject to hefty financial liability.

If you have questions about the FLSA, state labor laws, or your right to receive fair compensation, the attorneys in Sommers Schwartz’s Employment Litigation Group are available to help.