According to the Federal Judicial Center, lawsuits arising from violations of the wage and hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) totaled 8,781 in the fiscal year ending this past Sept. 30. That was up from 8,160 in FY 2014, a 7.6 percent increase.

Legal observers expect the total to keep rising this year as social media, an aggressive Department of Labor (DOL) and savvy attorneys all key in on violations, alleged or real, that can cost employers huge sums of money.

“We attribute an increase in wage and hour litigation, first, to the fact that the FLSA is a really old statute. It was written in the 1930s when the labor market was a very different place than the modern workplace, and the rules were written for a manufacturing economy that don’t necessarily adapt well to the modern landscape,” said attorney Kyle Petersen, a member of the Labor and Employment Department at employment law firm Seyfarth Shaw.

In a high tech employment landscape, those 1930s rules get stretched and blurred at the same time, Petersen added.

If you own or operate a small to medium-sized business, managing all your employees plus meeting federal labor laws and regulations can be daunting, especially with new rules being issued all the time. To help you understand your rights and responsibilities in every facet of running a business, please order a copy of Personnel Concepts’ All-On-One HR Compliance Program for Small Businesses.