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.
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.
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.
In the past year, the U.S. Department of Labor has renewed its focus on combating employee misclassification, and there has been a recent significant increase in the number of wage-and-hour lawsuits. In many of these cases, workers are challenging their designation as exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
A New York court has granted class-action status to a lawsuit filed by benefits consultants at a subsidiary of the WellCare health system, who allege they were misclassified as exempt.
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.
In a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court in June rejected class-action status for an estimated 1.5 million female employees who brought gender-discrimination claims against Walmart, the country’s largest private employer. The issue before the High Court wasn’t whether Walmart discriminates against women, but whether the 1.5 million-member class was legitimate.
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?