With the recent increase in statutory and regulatory compliance issues for America’s employers, it is not surprising that employers often focus their human resources and legal compliance efforts solely on understanding and complying with new employment developments. As a result, compliance with current laws often does not get needed attention, even though the likelihood of significant financial exposure may be greater for violations of existing statutes. This is perhaps most true in the case of the federal wage and hour statute, the Fair Labor Standards Act
As most employers are aware, noncompete, nonsolicitation, and nondisclosure agreements (otherwise known as “restrictive covenants”) have been notoriously difficult to enforce in Georgia. This is because the Georgia Constitution specifically states that contracts that serve to “defeat or lessen competition” are “illegal and void.” As a result, Georgia courts currently hold that restrictive covenants will be upheld only if they are “reasonable” and necessary to protect the employer’s business.
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act
("FDCPA") is a consumer-friendly statute that contains many technical requirements that debt collectors easily can violate, even when acting in good faith. Even if the debt collector commits merely a technical violation of the FDCPA that does not cause actual harm to the consumer, the debt collector still may be held liable for statutory damages up to $1,000 and more significantly, the consumer’s attorney’s fees. In FDCPA class action suits, the amount of statutory damages that can be recovered is the lesser of $500,000 or 1 percent of the debt collector’s net worth. Because of this statutory scheme, consumers have filed FDCPA lawsuits with increasing frequency in recent years.