Here’s a story from Businessweek about wage and overtime lawsuits in the U.S.
Thierman sues companies for violating “wage and hour” rules, typically claiming they have failed to pay overtime to workers who deserve it. Since the beginning of this decade, this litigation has exploded nationwide. Because wage and hour laws have been so widely violated, undetonated legal mines remain buried in countless companies, according to defense and plaintiffs’ lawyers alike.
The key to being exempt from overtime pay is showing that you use discretion in your work. This lawyer showed, for example, that Starbucks managers had little discretion and were “executives” in name only.
The widespread industry practice of over time and the veneer of “professionalism” may not stand up in court — if challenged. It hasn’t been challenged — yet.