The usual wage-and-hour rules don’t apply to independent contractors because they aren’t employees. But that doesn’t mean you can forget about the FLSA by deciding to just call someone an independent contractor. What really counts is how much control you assert over the individual in how and when she does the work.
Patience is a virtue. Practice it, especially when you have an employee who seems to gripe about everything. Sure, serial complainers are a pain. Don’t make matters worse by striking back.
The most recently released regulatory agenda of the DOL focuses on three major areas: 1. A “plan/prevent/protect” strategy that seeks to achieve compliance with workplace laws each and every day. 2. A departmental commitment to openness and transparency. 3. Reducing employee risk.
Here’s a problem that’s quite common for employers with several work sites spread far apart and one common HR department. Many employees may be eligible for FMLA leave, but some may not be if they work at a location with fewer than 50 employees that’s located within 75 miles of the main office.
Dallas-based Nieman Printing thought it had it all figured out when it hired two temp agencies to employ the same workers doing the same work, but on different days. The strategy: Keep workers from ever putting in more than 40 hours per week for one employer. Desired result: No overtime pay! DOL investigators saw through the charade.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division is seeking a fortune in fortune cookies from three San Antonio-area China Sea Restaurants after an investigation revealed massive minimum wage, overtime and recordkeeping violations.
Don’t let the fear of litigation keep you from making necessary decisions. Sometimes, you have to discipline employees for the good of the organization.
In tight times, employers must explore every cost-saving option. After looking at several ways to balance the budget, you may decide you need to trim the workforce. Don’t be surprised if a laid-off employee sues.
Don’t let an angry manager turn routine FMLA leave into expensive and time-consuming litigation. Make sure all supervisors understand their FMLA obligations—and that they have no choice but to cheerfully allow employees to exercise their rights.
Sometimes, it’s clear that unless an employee shapes up, she’ll have to be fired. Argumentative, insubordinate employees who balk at even minor requests fall into that category. Carefully document infractions so when termination time comes, you have specific examples.