The overall demand for legal services—measured by growth in billable hours—fell 0.2 percent in the second quarter of this year, compared to the same quarter in 2011. But the demand for labor and employment work increased 4.7 percent over that same period, according to the Hildebrandt Institute’s Peer Monitor Economic Index.

One factor fueling the uptick is a flood of wage and hour collective actions that have hit California over the past 10 years. California employers can be sued over classifying workers as either exempt or non-exempt from hourly wages, and for overtime violations. “[California’s] scope of employment law has unique statutes, like requiring hourly workers to take a rest break,” says Steven Suflas, a labor and employment lawyer at Ballard Spahr.

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