EMPLOYMENT LAW

Dispute over wage claim glut aired before judge

One firm says it will scale back; another says it plans to expand.

, The National Law Journal

Facing sanctions from federal judges for filing hundreds of wage-and-hour cases, two Florida law firms could be barred from filing any more overtime cases, which could make it harder for a worker to secure representation in that region. During a heated hearing on the issue, Richard Celler, who heads the wage-and-hour division of Morgan & Morgan, said he feels compelled to take such cases in light of a recent audit that found that the U.S. Department of Labor has sharply reduced the number of overtime cases it has brought in recent years. Celler said the Labor Department "is not doing their job. They dropped the ball." Many of his firm's clients are poor, unskilled workers earning the minimum wage who believe that their employers have shorted their pay.

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