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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. We have an exempt supervisor who has accumulated more than 400 hours of comp time over the past year. It’s almost impossible for her to take 400 hours of comp time and still do her job. What is our obligation to pay for this comp time? How can this issue best be resolved?
Q. We are hiring for a new position that does not meet any exemption under the Fair Labor Stand­­ards Act (FLSA). However, we think there will be more interest in the job if we pay a salary. Can we still compensate on a salary basis even if the position is nonexempt?

If your company is like most and cutting costs is a top priority, reducing overtime expenditures can make a big difference.  Be careful with how your company goes about reining in overtime, though; failing to properly pay for all overtime hours worked could result in more financial harm than good.  In addition to paying employees back wages, you will also pay liquidated, or double, damages.  And liquidated damages are the rule, rather than the exception.  Paying employees correctly the first time is your best strategy.  Employees have two years to sue for non-willful mistakes, and three years for willful mistakes.  Read on to learn from others' mistakes.

Under proposed regulations, staffing agencies that send health care workers into clients’ homes would be fully covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act. In-home health care workers who are employed by families would retain their FLSA exemption.
You don’t have to pay hourly employees for meal breaks of 30 minutes or more, as long as they are completely relieved of their duties during the break. Many employers automatically de­­duct the meal period from time worked. But make sure there’s an easy way for employees who occasionally work through their meal breaks to report the additional paid time.

In an attempt to right what he ­­per­­ceives to be a wrong-headed Supreme Court decision, Presi­dent Obama is asking the DOL to change FLSA regulations covering home health care workers. Those workers have been exempt from the law since 1974 when the DOL lumped the workers into a “companion” category along with baby sitters and nannies.

A federal court hearing a Fair Labor Standards Act case has ruled that an em­­ployee’s immigration status is irrelevant and can’t be mentioned to the jury.
Q. What’s the definition of a standard workweek? One of our employees claims that overtime is defined as anything over eight hours per workday. Is he correct?
The California Supreme Court has issued a long-awaited decision in a case addressing the “administrative/production worker” dichotomy in determining if an employee meets the requirements for the administrative employee exemption from overtime under the California Wage Orders.
Q. We pay a bonus for not using accrued sick leave. Does that count when determining an employee’s regular rate of pay for overtime purposes?
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