Wal-Mart is all over the news as the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to let a massive class-action, gender-discrimination lawsuit with the potential for a multi-million-dollar judgment to go forward.

Meanwhile, NERA Economic Consulting has pored through public records of 187 settlements based on wage-and-hour violations from 2007 to 2010 and found that, though the average dollar value of these settlements has declined, the number of court cases continues to rise.

For instance, NERA found that the mean settlement in 2007 was $23 million but was only $9 million in 2010. Likewise, the median settlement (those in the middle of the pack) fell from $14 million in 2007 to $3 million this past year. The cases break down like this: overtime wage violations (138 cases), off-the-clock work violations (97), missed meals and breaks (43), misclasification (65), donning and doffing (17), minimum wage (7), and tip pooling (4).

While this is welcome news for employers in terms of dollar liability, $3 million still isn't chump change, and all of this is totally preventable if employers follow wage, hour and overtime laws correctly.

Personnel Concepts has recently launch a comprehensive but easy-to-follow FLSA Compliance Program to help employers understand wage, hour, overtime and other workforce laws. Get yours today.