Employment Disputes

Employment disputes require a financial/economic expert or consultant that understands the intricacies of employment related damages. BTZ offers an array of professionals, who utilize their years of experience in accounting, auditing, finance and litigation services and their educations in economics, finance, law and accounting, to serve as the designated financial/ economic experts or consultants in employment disputes.

BTZ professionals may be engaged by counsel for the plaintiff or the defendant to opine on a range of financial matters pertinent to an employment dispute, including acting as an expert consultant or an expert witness providing testimony at deposition and trial. In addition, BTZ professionals, also typically, offer rebuttal opinions regarding the opinions of the financial/economic experts designated for the opposing party.

Many of BTZ’s professionals have a thorough knowledge of and extensive experience in the following matters pertaining to employment disputes:

  • Wage and Hour Analysis; and
  • Wrongful termination.

BTZ professionals who offer expert consulting and/or expert witness services regarding employment matters include:

  • Brian P. Brinig, Principal
  • Robert A. Taylor, Principal
  • Paul A. Zimmer, Principal
  • Cheryl Kessler, Director
  • Kate Kowaleski, Director
  • Jamie Haven, Director
  • Darlene D. Babcock, Director

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 130 million American workers are protected by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). FLSA is the Federal law which sets minimum wages, overtime, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards. Employees who work for certain types of businesses that meet specified criteria regarding the nature of the business, or the number of employees and volume of annual sales or whose work regularly involves interstate commerce are covered by FLSA. These covered employees may work in the private sector, for Federal, State and local governments, or governmental agencies. In addition to FLSA, workers may be protected by various statutes enacted by the state in which they work.

Disputes between workers and their employers often arise when employees allege that the employer has:

  • failed to pay wages at time-and-a-half for overtime hours;
  • failed to provide necessary rest breaks;
  • encouraged employees to work during off-the-clock hours, and/or
  • Classified employees as independent contractors

Use of a BTZ Expert in Employment Related Litigation - Wage and Hour Analysis

BTZ professionals have been engaged as consultants and/or expert witnesses in numerous wage and hour related employment matters. In these matters, BTZ has been engaged on behalf of employees/classes of employees and on behalf of employers to calculate damages, penalties and interest pertaining to the wage and hour statutes of California, Florida, Tennessee, Nevada and Texas, among other states and matters pertaining to FLSA.

The professionals at BTZ utilize their years of experience in accounting, auditing, finance, and litigation services and their educations in economics, finance, and accounting, in serving as the designated financial/economic experts or consultants in employment related litigation. BTZ has been engaged in wage and hour related employment matters for the following parties:

  • Governmental Entities (Defendant);
  • Private Prison Guards (Plaintiff – 100 to 500 class members);
  • Technology Companies (both Defendants and Plaintiffs);
  • Fire Fighter and Police Unions (Plaintiffs);
  • Hotel/Resort (Plaintiff – 100 to 500 class members);
  • Timeshare Resort Sales Representatives (Plaintiff – 1,000 plus class members);
  • Call Center Employees (Defendant);
  • Restaurant Chain (Defendant);
  • Manufacturing Companies (Defendants and Plaintiffs);
  • Tow Truck Drivers (Defendant);
  • Mortgage Company (Defendant); and
  • Retail (Defendant).

The financial calculations and expert testimony of BTZ professionals engaged in wage and hour employment litigation exemplify their commitment to accuracy and timely responsive service, as well as their thorough knowledge of and extensive experience regarding:

  • Understanding FLSA and various state labor statutes applicable to the claims being made;
  • Managing large databases;
  • Modeling financial spreadsheets to perform detailed calculations;
  • Preparing clear, concise, and thorough written reports; and
  • Providing expert testimony.

A typical engagement in a wage and hour dispute involves the detailed calculation of back pay owed to employees related to the alleged violations of the applicable wage and hour statutes, which entails:

  1. Understanding the claims being alleged by the plaintiffs;
  2. Understanding the applicable law;
  3. Identifying and requesting the records relevant to the claims (i.e. the database, which is often voluminous);
  4. Managing and converting the database into a usable format;
  5. Matching daily time records with weekly, bi-weekly or monthly pay records;
  6. Evaluating rounding policies and the effect of rounding time punch data;
  7. Determining the regular hourly rate of pay by allocating bonuses and/or commissions and other special pay over applicable hours earned;
  8. Creating spreadsheets to make the pertinent calculations of back pay (i.e. alleged lost wages/underpaid wages);
  9. Creating the spreadsheets to calculate penalties and interest in accordance with applicable laws;
  10. Surveying employee groups to determine their normal work schedule, if a claim of misclassification between employee and independent contractor is involved; and
  11. Writing reports to describe the procedures performed, the documents relied upon, any assumptions made due to data limitations, and the conclusions reached.

The financial opinions of BTZ professionals in wage and hour employment related matters are credible, accurate, and thoroughly documented. BTZ professionals offering expert consulting and/or expert witness services regarding wage and hour employment related matters are:

  • Brian P. Brinig, Principal
  • Robert A. Taylor, Principal
  • Paul A. Zimmer, Principal

A wrongful termination claim may arise when the employment of an individual (or a group/class of individuals) is terminated by an employer and that employee (or group/class of individuals) alleges that such termination was due to discrimination, harassment, or other legally prohibited misconduct by its prior employer. A series of Federal laws known generally as the Federal Equal Opportunity (EEOC) Laws together with various other Federal statutes and statutes in most states prohibit discrimination in employment matters based on various factors, such as race, gender, age, religion, national origin, marital status, disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, or genetic information. In the United States, claims made against employers for discriminatory action alone number in the tens of thousands each year. In addition, a significant number of wrongful termination claims arise from other alleged misconduct, some of which pertain to a violation of “good faith and fair dealing.”

BTZ offers an array of professionals who draw on their years of civil litigation experience and educations in economics, finance and accounting, to serve as the designated financial/economic experts or consultants in wrongful termination matters. BTZ professionals have been engaged in thousands of wrongful termination matters by either counsel for the plaintiff(s) or the defendant to quantify the damages of the wrongfully terminated employee(s) and act as an expert consultant or an expert witness providing testimony at deposition and trial regarding their opinions of damages. BTZ professionals also typically offer rebuttal opinions regarding the damage calculations of the financial/economic experts designated for the opposing party.

The wrongful termination damage calculations and expert testimony of BTZ professionals exemplify their thorough knowledge of and extensive experience regarding:

  • Various applicable laws relating to allowable damages in wrongful termination actions;
  • Identification of and quantification of all categories of past and future lost compensation (salaries, bonuses, wages, overtime, commissions, benefits, defined benefit pension plans, etc.)
  • Growth rates of compensation;
  • Work life expectancies;
  • Valuation of lost stock options;
  • Discount rates applicable to future losses;
  • Evaluation and quantification of mitigation to losses;
  • Report writing documenting financial/economic damages opinions; and
  • Expert testimony regarding financial/economic issues pertaining to damages in wrongful termination disputes.

If relevant, BTZ’s professionals may also provide the information necessary to a trier of fact to calculate punitive damages. The damages opinions of BTZ professionals are credible, objective, thoroughly researched, and substantiated by relevant evidence. BTZ professionals offering expert consulting and/or expert witness services regarding damages in wrongful termination matters are:

  • Brian P. Brinig, Principal
  • Robert A. Taylor, Principal
  • Paul A. Zimmer, Principal
  • Jamie T. Haven, Director