According to the Federal Judicial Center, which tracks lawsuit statistics at the federal level, employees filed 7,764 federal wage-and-hour lawsuits between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2013, a 10 percent jump over the previous year.

In contrast, such lawsuits rose only 1 percent year to year in the 2012 reporting period.

Wage-and-hour lawsuits arise under provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and generally involve overtime violations, off-the-clock, uncompensated work, and misclassification as independent contractors when working as employees.

Also, according to a National Economic Research Associates' report, employers nationwide paid 18 percent more in wage-and-hour settlements in 2012 that they did in 2011, totaling $467 million. Since many of these settlements are from class-action lawsuits, the average payout was $4.8 million.

Employers of every size are subject to FLSA-based lawsuits and complaints. Protect yourself and stay in compliance. Get your copy of Personnel Concepts' FLSA Compliance Prrogram today.