US workers turn to courts to win overtime payouts

Lawsuits accusing American companies of failing to pay owed overtime to
white-collar workers have tripled since 1997, according to data from the
Administrative Office of the US Courts.

The bureau, which tracks federal litigation cases, said white-collar workers
filed 102 overtime class-action lawsuits in 2003 compared with only 31 in 1997.
Groups that sued included managers with light managerial duties, who were
denied time-and-a-half pay after 40 hours because they were told they were

Meanwhile, the US Department of Labor has drafted new rules to guarantee
overtime payments for salaried workers earning less than $23,660 (£12,950)

The reforms, which are expected to be effective from August, will strengthen
overtime rights for 6.7 million American workers, including 1.3 million
low-wage workers who were denied payments under the old regulations.

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