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 wish to offer a variety of incentive bonuses to hourly workers in an attempt to increase business and productivity. Will these bonuses affect the employees’ “regular rate” under the Fair Labor Standards Act FLSA for purposes of calculating overtime?
Here’s some good news for employers that classify workers as exempt under the FLSA’s administration exemption: Contrary to what some attorneys have been attempting to argue, employees don’t have to perform all the functions listed in the DOL regulations, just one.
Some employers think they can classify truck drivers as exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act by relying on the federal Motor Car­rier Act. But that’s tricky. To be covered by the MCA, the drivers must cross state lines while doing their jobs.
The Fair Labor Standards Act has been around for many decades, but some em­­ployers still think they can circumvent the inconvenient truth that they must pay employees for their labor. If some of your managers share this mis­­conception, the following case may make them change their minds.

Sometimes, it becomes clear that an employee has been misclassified as exempt when she should really be an hourly employee. Employers that want to fix the situation can do so and avoid a lawsuit by offering the employee double her lost overtime pay, plus interest going back either two or three years depending on how the mistake happened.

Winter isn’t a challenging season just because of the lousy weather. It’s tough on payroll staff, who must ensure that the company’s pay policies jibe with the Fair Labor Standards Act when employees leave early, arrive late or just stay home because of snow. Here are the rules for nonexempts and exempts.

Congress has amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) many times. Courts have chimed in with their interpretations of the law, as well. The Department of Labor, on the other hand, hasn’t been as quick to amend the FLSA regulations. Final regulations, effective May 5, 2011, now clarify and conform the regs to the current law.

Q. We orally warned an employee not to work overtime. Recently, he claimed to have worked 56 hours straight, eating and sleeping only on regular break times. The timecards say he was here, but we don’t have any night staff, so we can’t verify if he was actually at work. Is there anything we can do?
Courts are beginning to rein in col­­lec­tive actions, in which a few com­­plaints about unpaid overtime can explode into massive litigation if courts aren’t careful.
Want to keep exempt status in place for your store managers? One key is to make sure regional managers don’t micromanage the store. Giving store managers autonomy helps show they truly do have managerial authority.
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