Overtime Labor Laws

Federal overtime laws, designed to help end the exempt vs. non-exempt debate, have made things worse. To non-exempt and exempt employees, labor laws continue to confuse.

Business Management Daily can help you comply with federal overtime laws. Learn when you have to pay overtime, and when you don’t.

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Q. Are employers required to pay for overtime hours that result when an employee voluntarily switches shifts with a co-worker?

“Nopalera” is Spanish for a “patch of prickly cactus.” That’s exactly where the owners of a Gainesville restaurant called La Nopalera found themselves after the DOL discovered they weren’t paying wages to Hispanic employees, making them work for tips alone.
When the U.S. Department of Labor filed a complaint on behalf of misclassified workers at Skokie Maid and Cleaning Services, the company failed to file a response of any kind. Now it’s on the hook for more than a half-million dollars following a default judgment for the workers.
Q. Some of our employees receive tips from cus­­tomers. Do we need to include those tips when we calculate these employees’ rate of pay for purposes of paying them overtime?
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that pharmaceutical sales representatives qualify as exempt outside salespeople under the FLSA, even though they technically can’t and don’t sell anything. While this case directly affects drug companies, it could have a wider impact.
Q: A client has two stores that are separate franchises. Both stores share employees, including the store manager. How can we calculate overtime when an employee works at both stores, and how do we allocate those hours between the stores?
The most common and costliest wage-and-hour mistakes made by employers involve failure to correctly adhere to overtime pay requirements under the FLSA.  Among the common mistakes: paying time-and-a-half for weekends and holidays; calculating overtime on a pay period basis instead of the workweek; and failure to pay overtime when employees weren't authorized to work the additional hours.

Employers are responsible for keeping track of the hours and minutes their employees work. If they can’t show their records are accurate, an underpaid overtime case can get costly. That’s because—absent reliable employer records—courts will let employees fill in the timekeeping details.

Q. Our employees work irregular schedules. They may work for two weeks and then be off for three. Can we pay them every two weeks based on their average yearly income and, if they work more, pay them at an hourly rate?
Q. Our employee manual doesn’t address compen­satory time off, but we have offered certain exempt managers an hour of comp time for every hour of overtime worked. Do we have to pay them for accrued comp time when we terminate them? In the past, we’ve paid comp time to some, but not to ­others. Can we negotiate our own terms with each employee?
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