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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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.
The city of San Francisco has filed suit against a car wash for overtime and waiting-time violations. City Attorney Dennis Herrera and La Raza Centro Legal allege that Tower Car Wash, which has a contract with San Francisco to wash city-owned vehicles, failed to pay employees for the hours between when they arrive at work and when they’re permitted to clock in.
A group of dancers at a Los Angeles “hostess club” are suing for wage-and-hour violations, claiming the owners of Club 907 also subjected them to “exploitative, substandard and degrading working conditions.”

A federal judge has allowed an FLSA class-action lawsuit against BellSouth Telecommunications to move forward. The class consists of “level-one” managers who claim they have been misclassified so the company won’t have to give them overtime pay.

With job markets tight and employers shunning applicants with long, unexplained résumé gaps, the ambitious unemployed are opting for unpaid internships. On the surface, that looks like a win-win: The employer gets free labor in exchange for valuable training. The intern also builds skills and prevents big résumé holes. But before you get carried away by the prospect of marvelous production for virtually no cost, let’s have a reality check.
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