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 are a social services organization. After employees make home visits to clients, they must file reports within 24 hours, even if that means they must work on weekends. Most of these employees have two-year associate degrees; some have bachelor’s degrees. Can we treat these social workers as exempt employees under the FLSA?
In addition to protecting ­­employees’ wage-and-hour rights, the Fair Labor Standards Act protects employees from retaliation for asserting their pay rights. But until now, it was unclear whether it was protected activity to file an internal report that someone within the organization was violating the FLSA. The 4th Circuit has ruled that it is.
A handful of high-profile legal disputes are shining a bright light on an often-ignored issue: Should employers be required to pay interns at least the minimum wage?
Here’s a bit of advice to any employer using commercial drivers in their enterprise: Before concluding those employees are exempt from overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act because they’re covered by the Motor Carrier Act, call your attorney.
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed a class-action sex discrimination claim brought by thousands of female Walmart employees. Now the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has clarified how far the decision goes in class-action wage-and-hour cases.
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.
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