Earlier this month, the EEOC announced that it has collected $185 million in unpaid wages on behalf of more than 228,000 workers nationwide. This was for their fiscal year 20087 alone, and represents an increase of 40% over 2001 numbers.
Violations enforced by the EEOC include minimum wage, overtime, and child labor provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
What this number does not include are class-action lawsuits and other legal proceedings where the employee didn't bother to go through the EEOC. And in states such as California, the state has their own enforcement department.
The biggest issue facing small businesses is compliance with the complex wage and hour issues. Ignorance is not an excuse.