Lax Time-Tracking Does Not Rise to Level of Willfulness Under FLSA
County employees sued the county for failure to pay overtime compensation as required under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for certain periods in which the employees worked in two different part-time jobs. The court ruled the county’s overtime violations were not willful and awarded the workers only about $5,600. Their attorneys received $55,852.85 in fees, about a third of their fee petition. The Third Circuit rejected the employees’ appeal stating a plaintiff must put forward at least some evidence of the employer's awareness of a violation of the FLSA overtime mandate consequently evidence of the county’s shoddy time-tracking was not enough. The court also upheld the attorney’s fee award stating $250 per hour set by the court consistent with fees in the region was reasonable—not the $400 demanded by plaintiffs’ attorney.