The Wage and Hour Defense Institute (WHDI) is Comprised of Highly Talented and Experienced Wage and Hour Defense Attorneys From Across the United States and Canada.
About the WHDI – National Network: Local Knowledge
Because of our national footprint, we bring top tier representation and in-depth wage and hour knowledge to our members’ clients by attorneys who are local to the dispute and who are familiar with the local courts, local practices, and local attorneys.
Why is this important?
Wage and hour litigation, and in particular class and collective actions brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and its state law counterparts, poses material risks to employers of all sizes. Litigation under these laws challenging all aspects of employers’ pay, timekeeping, and payroll practices has exploded in recent years. Jury verdicts and large settlements have fueled the trend and energized plaintiff-side lawyers. Because employees often band together in class and collective actions, the exposure in these cases is extremely significant; employees have recovered large amounts of money – often many millions of dollars – from their employer in these matters.
These lawsuits are often based on allegations that employers misclassified employees as exempt from federal and/or state/local overtime and minimum wage requirements. In addition, employees increasingly have pursued claims that they were forced to work “off the clock,” were denied meal and rest breaks, engaged in pre-shift or post-shift compensable work, or worked remotely without receiving proper overtime compensation or without proper expense reimbursement. Employees whose pay includes tips, bonuses, or commissions, require additional compliance obligations, which create enhanced risk. The new wave of wage and hour litigation includes an increase in lawsuits alleging misclassification of independent contractors, a complex issue given to the interwoven state and federal employment and tax laws. In addition, the trend of increased remote work following the COVID pandemic has also given rise to claims by employees for unpaid wages or expenses.
WHDI members have successfully represented employers in these matters throughout the United States and Canada. WHDI lawyers work regularly with clients to navigate inspections, audits, and actions by the United States Department of Labor and similar state and local agencies. WHDI attorneys also actively counsel employers on classification determinations and other payroll practices, helping employers avoid litigation and to reducing their exposure should litigation arise.
The WHDI serves as the network and meeting ground for top-tier employer-side wage and hour practitioners across North America to engage in professional development in what has become a highly nuanced area of the law. This group has become an established resource on wage and hour matters for employers of all sizes and across all industries.
Each WHDI member was carefully evaluated and selected for membership in the WHDI based on the attorney’s individual skills and experience representing management in wage and hour matters. The Institute holds periodic conferences, meetings, and colloquia for purposes of advancing defense techniques, methods, and approaches, and broadening its members’ role and influence in wage and hour law and policy.