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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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Here’s a scary hypothetical: A female exempt employee comes into HR to complain about sex discrimination and pay bias. She tells you she works for a male supervisor; two men hold the same position she does. Her hourly rate based on a 40-hour workweek is higher than either of the men’s. But she argues that her supervisor makes her work longer hours. She says that’s pay discrimination. What do you tell her?

Today’s tight economy has prompted many employers to try to reduce costs—including overtime—by classifying workers as independent contractors instead of employees. That hasn’t escaped the notice of the U.S. Department of Labor, which has stepped up efforts to deter misclassification.

Q. We are requiring some hourly employees to take additional training. Those who work the day shift can attend the training in lieu of work. But employees who work the night shift will have to come in during the day. Must we pay extra for the night shift employees to attend the training?

Whether or not to pay employees for on-call time comes down to one question: How many restrictions are you putting on the employees’ personal time? The EEOC says on-call time be­­comes compensable under the FLSA “when the on-call conditions are so restrictive or the calls to duty so frequent that the employee cannot effectively use on-call time for personal purposes.”

As the world of work becomes more technologically driven, some employees are seeing their job responsibilities change. Those jobs may then change from hourly to exempt under the FLSA.
The FLSA can be a trap for employers that don’t properly classify their workers. In fact, getting classification wrong can lead to class-action lawsuits and large back-pay awards. And to confuse things even more, if the employer acted “willfully,” employees get those double awards going back three years. Now the 5th Circuit Court of Ap­peals has at least made it a little harder for employees to collect those damages for three years.
Q. Last week, we asked a nonexempt employee to come in 30 minutes before her regular start time to talk to her about a complaint that had come to our attention. Do we have to pay her for the time spent in discussions with management?
Q. I heard something about a new wage-and-hour smartphone app that the Department of Labor has announced. What does it mean for our company?

New regulations implementing the FLSA are now in effect, and they mark a significant change in federal wage-and-hour rules—and how the DOL enforces them. The new regulations were created to make FLSA regulations consistent with changes driven by other applicable federal laws. Be mindful of these new regulations and the additional burdens they impose.

Milton-based McKenzie Buick GMC has settled a dispute over minimum wage, overtime pay and tracking of employees’ hours worked. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division revealed the dealership wasn’t maintaining accurate records of the hours many of its salespeople worked.
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