Why do FLSA cases cost employers so much?

"An employer’s liability under the FLSA can be high even in the most average of cases. There are a number of reasons why. First, FLSA cases – almost invariably – involve multiple employees and/or plaintiffs. If one employee says that she has had to work through meal breaks, then you can bet that several more probably have too. Second, FLSA cases often cover extended periods of time. Typically, employees don’t complain that they have worked through lunch once; they complain that they have worked through lunch on a weekly basis for a number of years. Third, unpaid meal break time will be paid at the employees’ overtime rate if it came during a week in which the employees had already worked 40 hours or more.  Fourth, employees are typically awarded “liquidated damages” in FLSA cases equal to the amount of unpaid wages. In other words, employees receive twice what they say they were owed.  Fifth, punitive damages can be awarded at the discretion of the court. And, sixth, employers are commonly required to reimburse employees for the legal fees and costs that they incur in bringing FLSA suit."